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‘Words of advice’ for tractor driver with no trailer reg & overloaded trailer

Police gave what they branded as “words” of advice to a tractor driver for multiple road-traffic-related offences recently.

Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team stopped the driver of the agricultural vehicle whilst on patrol on July 7th, 2022.

A police spokesperson said:

“This tractor was stopped for, among other things, being overloaded, no trailer registration being displayed and not covering the load correctly”.

“What should have happened is that the young driver should have been prosecuted for having no number plate and for an insecure load as he had lost some on the road.”

“I guarantee you that if this was DVSA or a traffic-minded officer, then it would have been a different outcome to the WORDS OF ADVICE.”

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Trailer registration

According to the UK Government, by law, certain trailers you must register certain trailers that you are driving internationally with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

These include all:

  • Non-commercial use trailers over 3,500kg in gross weight;
  • All commercial use trailers over 750kg in gross weight.

You only need to register these trailers if they are travelling through a country abroad that has signed up to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

Once you have registered a trailer with DVLA, you will receive a unique registration

By law, the UK government states, that certain trailers must display a unique registration number. These registration numbers are “a way of identifying UK-registered trailers that are being driven internationally”.

Furthermore, you must display trailer registration numbers “correctly” on number plates as outlined in the Trailer Registration Regulations 2018.

Then, display the trailer registration plate on the trailer’s rear in what the government requires to be a “visible and vertical position”.

The government states that anyone, who has a number plate that does not display the registration number correctly, could receive a fine of up to £1,000.

Transporting loads

Meanwhile, the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that vehicle users must ensure that the do not overload their vehicles.

The UK government urges motorists to:

  • Know the weights of their vehicle and load;
  • Check the Gross Vehicle before setting out;
  • Find the maximum permitted axle weight and GVW;
  • Re-distribute your load appropriately after off-loading.

Overloading can:

  • Make a vehicle less stable;
  • Reduce your ability to control your vehicle;
  • Often result in higher vehicle maintenance costs.

Furthermore, the body states that the consequences of overloading can be fatal.

A spokesperson for the DVSA said:

“Normally, a fixed penalty would be inappropriate for serious cases of overloading.”

“For example, when the vehicle is overloaded by 30% and over, or the excess weight is 5 tonnes, a court summons would be issued instead.”

“If the excess weight and the way the load is carried is having a significant impact on road safety, for example, serious instability or loss of control, these other offences will mean a court summons. The excess weight would be part of the offence/s,” the spokesperson concluded.

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