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Make Sure You're Heading For A Safe Holiday

Date: 27-05-2021

As we head towards a bank holiday and holiday season people are being urged to make sure that their caravans and campervans are roadworthy, especially if they may not have been used for more than a year, to help avoid incidents on Ireland’s road network this summer.

Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with the Communications Department of Mayo County Council said: “Due to the current uncertainty surrounding international travel, more people than ever before will opt for a ‘Staycation’; this has seen a rise in sales of second-hand caravan/campervans and road users deciding to purchase a caravan for the first time. Naturally, this will lead to a large number of caravan users visiting various Country beauty spots and beaches, but before you travel you must make sure that you have undertaken all necessary safety checks.”

“The Road Safety Office in Mayo County Council’s priority is to help you keep your caravan or trailer safe to use on Irish roads. Towing a caravan adds significant weight to your vehicle, requires careful planning and loading, and puts additional responsibilities on a driver to manage safety.”

“It's great to see caravans and trailers returning to the road but drivers who tow have a special responsibility to ensure they tow safely.  Many caravans and trailers have been parked up over winter, so we're urging drivers who are new to towing or haven't towed for a while to carry out some simple checks. Our ask is, whatever you're towing, make it SAFE.'’

“If your tyres or vehicle aren’t roadworthy or your license and insurance isn’t suitable, you run the very real risk of having points added to your license, a fine from the courts and it could result in your caravan being seized.”

“Towing incidents on the road network can cause considerable delays to other road users, not to mention being potentially hazardous; please reduce your speed, adapt how you drive and make sure you have the necessary breakdown cover.”

Ensuring the roadworthiness of your vehicle is vital in giving you the safest experience when it comes to travel, as well as those around you.

Some good advice can be found on the website, including advice on how to avoid hazardous situations including rolling or jackknifing; guidance on the speed limits and weight considerations you must adhere to; and which lanes you are allowed to use on the motorway.

  • Always check your mirrors before changing lane
  • Service – get a trailer safety check or visit your garage if needed 
  • Air in tyres – check pressure, tread depth, condition, and age
  • Fit the breakaway cable and check electrical connections and cables 
  • Examine lights, load and weight limit, mirrors and do the jockey wheel test
  • Also it is worth remembering that the legal speed limit for towing a trailer/caravan is just 80km/h

So long as the car + caravan do not exceed 3,500KG you normal  B driving license will be suitable. If you are over that combined weight you need a category BE license.

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