Anyone towing a caravan in Queensland is being put on notice that police will be cracking down hard on overweight rigs.
With the busy Christmas holiday period just around the corner, the Courier Mail reports that there has been some alarm over startling statistics showing nearly all vehicles towing caravans were breaking state rules.
It says that Department of Transport and Main Roads data revealed nine out of 10 vehicles towing caravans last year exceeded their weight limit.
In a blitz on unroadworthy caravans, police reportedly used mobile scales to weigh vehicles on the Landsborough Highway in western Queensland last year but did not issue fines.
This year, however, the Courier Mail reports that those towing overweight caravans can expect fines for exceeding vehicle towing limits of up to $287 and three demerit points.
In New South Wales, the fine is $469 and three demerit points. It is $238 to $1580 in Victoria, up to $591 in South Australia and $130 to $735 in Tasmania.
Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland chief executive, Jason Plant, told the Courier Mail it was an issue which needed to be looked at.
“The rising popularity of recreational vehicles indicates we have more drivers on our roads who are either new to caravanning or who might have returned to it after some time away, so they may not be used to handling a longer and heavier vehicle,” he said. “It’s important that drivers who are inexperienced in manoeuvring such large vehicles can do so safely in order to avoid becoming a danger to themselves or other vehicles.”
Mr Plant said a free statewide education program, called VanSafe, would cover new caravan driver safety rules.
The Courier Mail reports that the interactive and hands-on program detailed the correct caravan weighting, towing rules and payload limits.
“The data alone demonstrates the need for this type of caravan road safety program,” Mr Plant said. “All RV owners and drivers have a responsibility to educate themselves on safe caravanning practices but the more we can do to support both new and seasoned drivers, the more confident and compliant they’ll become and the safer our roads will be.”
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