Fleet News

Towbar rules could catch van fleets out

FLEET managers could face serious financial penalties or legal charges for simple errors when fitting towbars to their fleets.

Industry experts are warning that little-known European towbar Type Approval legislation introduced three years ago must be complied with to avoid breaking the law.

After the change in the law, some fleets may have thought the change in the law under 94/20/EC Type Approvals Directive only affected passenger vehicles, but it also spreads to LCVs, such as car-derived vans. However, it has yet to spread to all LCVs.

John Jacobs, managing director of towbar manufacturer Brink UK, said: 'The risks include things like having a manufacturer withdraw its warranty or an insurance company invalidate cover. It could also include police prosecution.' Jacobs was recently appointed as chairman of the council of the National Trailer and Towing Association. The NTTA has launched a Quality Secured Accredited scheme to promote set standards when fitting towbars and towing electronics.

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