Police Operation on Caravan Safety

Rumours have started to circulate that Vic Police will be running a blitz targeting caravanners with even the popular Caravan and Motorhome On Tour magazine running an article on the subject. Well, while nothing can be confirmed, we have been told there is definitely substance to the rumour.

Photo from the Police/Vic Roads operation in May 2016

Last May you will recall there was a specific operation in Cann River, Victoria that targeted (amongst others) caravanners where rigs were weighed on set of portable scales. The pictures we were able to obtain and share (with appropriate permission) showed in no uncertain detail what was happening, busting a national rumour that had persisted for many years.

Well, the word I have from the same source is that a similar operation is in the planning but, this time, it is part of an overall strategy to 'educate travellers about caravan and tow vehicle weights, general safety around towing and how to manage fatigue on long journeys'.

During holiday periods, police have found 'there is an increase in the number of motorists towing caravans and boat trailers, with many being first time towers' or lacking experience towing long heavy loads. Recent media stories and videos of incidents showing caravan rollovers has also raised police concerns.

Some people will need more 'educating' than others...!

Police are also very aware that the public perception can be that these operations are just an exercise in revenue raising. I know this is not the case as the costs associated with such an exercise, especially over the holiday period, would greatly surpass the total of any fines issued. So this time there is a real focus on the need to 'educate and generate discussion around towing safety and road safety in general'.

We have maintained that caravanners who do the right thing have nothing to fear from being asked to pull in for an inspection and we would encourage travellers to take advantage of the opportunity to find out whether or not they are in fact legal. Safety should be everyone’s number one priority on the roads especially when towing big loads.

Stay tuned for more details.

Police Operation. Cann River. May 2016

Original Article Caravan and Motorhome on Tour

13 thoughts on “Police Operation on Caravan Safety

  1. Yes i agree i have seen some terrible combinations on the highways and in caravan parks. Falcons towing 22 foot vans ,no sense at all .

  2. Yes all good, but we should have a safe place to weigh in not get find, so we know if we are legal.

    1. There should be a public weighbridge near you. Try contacting your local council. They may be able to help.

      If your in the north of Victoria, the weighbridge at Broadford on the Hume is open to the public

  3. I’d love to know where to get advice. theres too many opinions and not enough written regulation. Manual brakes and what to do if your caravan begins swaying such as the recent viral example.

    1. Check out the post I put up a few weeks ago about that very subject. Basically if you get into a sway, don’t panic, ease off the accelerator and apply the manual trailer brake override. That should bring you to a safe and controlled state.

  4. I still cant see the government spending so much money , time and resources on an “education ” exercise amd not expect a return it will be a funding boost with the manufacturer being at fault for not plating a van correctly and the owner paying the fine
    If the government was serious they would legislate for manufacturers to plate each van corectly then have their “education” campaign

    1. Thanks for the comment Frank. While you’re right in your expectations, unfortunately governments just don’t run like that. It’s actually very rare for various departments to cooperate at such a level. I know the officer setting this operation up and I can tell you that he and his bosses are genuinely wanting to dispel some myths, raise awareness and start a different conversation to the one that has been going on for the last few years. Everyone has this idea that the police are all about making money but the truth is quite the opposite.

      Police are, on a broad level, very concerned about a lot of issues that see people getting killed or seriously injured and they will do what every they can within their powers to try to stop it. This campaign is about starting the ball rolling. One operation with the right level of engagement can start a whole new conversation. Other agencies will start to take notice, especially if the numbers from this operation are alarming.

      An operation like this is just the beginning. With luck and the right community engagement, can start to change attitudes and give other agencies the push they need to start to reform the industry.

  5. You have a license for your tow vehicle, you should also have a license for your trailer (caravan), if you are unable to reverse the trailer (caravan) you should not be allowed to tow it. How many times do you see an unskilled driver trying to back their caravan into a slot at a caravan site without having a clue.

    1. It’s an interesting observation Graham. I have said for years that when you get your licence, no one tests your towing abilities. It’s assumed you can do it from day one. It’s ridiculous.

  6. I was at a recent caravan show and sticky beaking at a van. No intention to buy. The salesman asked me why i didnt buy it , i had comented it was a nice van but only sticky beaking. I added i didnt have a suitable towing vehicle. He then went on with a tirade of “dont worry, tow it any how, he does, the scalies are never around and on n on.” Not fair to unsuspecting buyers

  7. Hi Vicky.

    You make a good point. Prospective buyers need to very careful of dodgy salesman who will make a sale at any cost.

    Have fun shopping around..!

Comments are closed.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)