H&H asked the DVSA for clarification after a post on social media mentioned that horseboxes were being checked near Hickstead and that a driver had been told to remove string attached to the outside of their vehicle, as it could be a danger to cyclists.
The DVSA and police have the power to carry out roadside spot checks on vehicles and issue prohibitions – which prevent someone from driving a vehicle until the problem is fixed – or fixed penalties. Roadside checks can include ensuring a vehicle is roadworthy, including checking lights, tyres, trailer couplings, and wheel fixings. An officer can also check tachograph records and that the driver has the correct occupational driving licence, and operator licence, if necessary. For some offences, a driver can be fined between £50 and £300, receive points on their licence, or taken to court.
A DVSA spokesman told H&H there is nothing set out in legislation on baler twine or string attached to a horsebox.
“It’s not something we are actively targeting. If it was a couple of centimetres and doesn’t cause any danger then they wouldn’t be asked to remove it,” said the spokesman.
“It comes down to the risk identified by a vehicle examiner. It would be purely if we identified an immediate risk to road safety. If an examiner encountered a horsebox with a bit of string that was too long that could potentially whip round and cause a risk to any kind of vulnerable road user then we would ask them to remove it, but outside of that there is nothing fixed in terms of our enforcement policy.”
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