Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Towing and Trailer Safety, this week (Wednesday) called on the Prime Minister to fix the “chaotic mess” left behind by his Government following their ill-thought-out changes to trailer safety laws.
The Government previously announced plans to scrap the need for drivers to pass a test to pull a trailer between 750kg and 3,500 kg (known as a B+E test). However, due to last-minute confusion in the Department for Transport the law needed to implement this change was not passed. This left the UK in a legal limbo where laws simultaneously did and did not apply.
The Government has reintroduced legislation, despite organisations including the Association of British Insurers and the Road Haulers Association condemning the changes, which they believe will have negative consequences for road safety.
Speaking after she had taken Boris Johnson to task at Prime Minister’s Questions, Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Towing and Trailer Safety, said:
“The Government needs to sort out the chaotic mess it has created. That’s why I demanded the Prime Minister live up to his promises to improve trailer and road safety. Failure to do so will leave grieving families, who have worked tirelessly to improve road safety, bereft.
“The Prime Minister trotted out the tired old lines that his reforms were to help alleviate the HGV driver shortage – but this is simply not the case. The Government won’t even undertake a risk assessment on their plans so cannot show the impact they will have. All we do know for certain is that 30% of drivers who took the previous test failed and they will now be released back onto our roads.
“I’ve worked closely with ministers in the Department for Transport on this issue for more than half a decade. They know, as does everyone else, that these changes will set us back nearly 20 years on road safety. The Prime Minister must take action to stop this from happening”.