Boy’s death prompts trailer safety campaign

  • A trailer safety campaign has been launched following the death of a three-year-old boy.

    Pedestrian Freddie Hussey was killed in 2014 when a two-tonne portable cabin uncoupled from a Land Rover and careered on to the pavement.

    Following his death, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is launching a new campaign highlighting the importance of trailer safety.

    DVSA has produced a quick and simple online guide, with a short video (top), to help people check if their trailers are safe.

    The campaign is targeting anyone towing trailers, including horse trailers, caravans and boats.

    “I was shocked and saddened by the death of three year-old Freddie Hussey — it is absolutely essential that drivers carry out a few quick and simple checks to make sure their trailer is safe, so we do not see a repeat of this awful tragedy,” said transport minister Andrew Jones.

    “This campaign will help drivers to make sure they are towing safely and will save lives in the process.”

    DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn added: “DVSA’s first priority is to protect the public and help you stay safe on Britain’s roads.

    “It’s your responsibility to ensure equipment is fitted to your vehicle correctly and used safely. There is no excuse for not being informed.

    “Even a short journey with an insecure or unroadworthy trailer puts lives at risk, as the death of three-year-old Freddie Hussey tragically shows.”

    The campaign is supported by representatives from National Trailer and Towing Association (NTTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

    “NTTA firmly believes that education is the key to stopping these events from happening again and our association fully supports this campaign,” said NTTA chief executive Administrator, Larry Lambert.

    “We urge all users to keep their trailers properly maintained and to allow sufficient time before each journey to carry out essential checks that will ensure that their towing experience is safe and legal at all times.”

    SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, added: “We welcome this important campaign, and urge all trailer users to follow the DVSA’s simple steps to ensure their trailer is properly coupled so they can tow safely and avoid further tragic and preventable accidents.”

    Continued below…

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    Safe towing

    The DVSA offers the following guidance for safe trailer use:

    • Make sure the brakes are working correctly
    • Check that the lights are undamaged and working correctly
    • Check that the coupling height is correct
    • Use a breakaway cable or secondary coupling

    For information about the rules on towing a trailer, visit www.gov.uk/towing

    For information about safety checks you should carry out, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/tow-a-trailer-with-a-car-safety-checks

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