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Safer towing message for North West drivers.

Published: 11th April 2011 14:13
Safer towing message for North West drivers.


Drivers in the North West and visitors to the region are to be reminded to tow safely this spring and summer.

The Highways Agency, which operates motorways and key A roads across England, is using some of its national network of electronic variable message signs (VMS) to get the safer towing message across.

The short national messaging campaign, which will remind drivers to ‘TAKE EXTRA CARE WHEN TOWING', is being extended to 18 days at the request of officials in the North West.

The Highways Agency is concerned at the number of accidents involving towed vehicles in the region and wants to get the safer towing message across ahead of this month's long Easter, Royal Wedding and May Day holiday break - a timely reminder for those who are towing trailers or caravans during the extended break.

The reminders will run just before and into the holiday period, starting for 11 days from Wednesday, April 20. They will resume again on Monday, May 23, for a further seven days ahead of the Late Spring bank holiday.

Experience has identified when and where towing accidents are likely to happen - many of which involve no other vehicles but can cause hours of delays for other drivers.

The experience of Highways Agency Traffic Officers over several Easter holiday periods suggests Maundy Thursday is the most likely day for accidents - peaking between noon and 5pm.

Incident 'hot-spots' - unsurprisingly on holiday routes to Blackpool, North Wales and the Lake District - include:

- M6 junctions 32 - 33 (northbound)
- M6 junctions 41 - 40 (southbound)
- Between the M6 and M56 around Lymm interchange
- M6 northbound Junctions 25 - 26 and the M56 between junctions 12 and 14.

Variable message signs near these junctions and throughout the region will be used to drive home the safer towing message - encouraging drivers to think about how they prepare for towing or even to stop in a layby or service station, once they have set out on their journeys, to carry out some basic checks.

The campaign is designed to encourage drivers to think before they tow - to avoid getting stranded on the motorway with a large recovery bill or causing hours of disruption for fellow motorway users from needless breakdowns or accidents.

Andy Withington, the Highways Agency's Area Performance Manager, said, "Because of our location and the strategic importance of major holiday routes like the M6, it is important we continue to ask those who tow trailers, horse boxes, boats and caravans to take extra care.

"I hope our ‘take extra care' messages will remind drivers they need to prepare before dusting off their trailers or caravans for the first long break of the year and think about safer towing once they are on the road."

Key issues for anyone towing a caravan, trailer, horse box or boat include ensuring it is regularly maintained and checked - including tyres and brake lights - especially after a long winter lay off.

Drivers should also ensure any loads are correctly balanced within the caravan or trailer and that the correct insurance and recovery in the event of an accident or break down is in place. Drivers are also reminded that they must stick to the speed limit for the vehicle they are towing.

The initiative is part of the Highways Agency's ongoing support and advice for drivers.

For further information, including the DVD Fit to Tow and an advice leaflet ‘Hitched', click here

The website is packed with advice for anyone planning to two this summer - whether that's a trailer-tent, speedboat, caravan or horsebox - as well as advice for commercial towers such as builders, farmers and contractors.


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At 17:19 on 12th April 2011, ronmelancon commented:
Please go to www.dangeroustrailers.org and take note that in the United States they could care less about lives lost by Passenger Cars That Tow Trailers.


NHTSA could care less that in 2009 379 lives were lost and 21,543 injured by the same...Passenger cars that tow trailers.

You need to log in before you can do that! It's only a quick registration process to join the AMA network and completely free.

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