Monday, July 21, 2008

Family petitions for MOT trailer tests

Family petitions for MOT trailer tests

07:30 - 21-July-2008

SINCE Finlay's death, members of his family have been campaigning for a change in the law relating to the use of trailers.

An investigation found that the trailer which killed the four-year-old had defective brakes and that a cable, which should have activated the brakes when it became detached from the vehicle, was missing.

Currently, trailers do not have to undergo any test to check for roadworthiness – something which Finlay's family believes should be made a legal requirement.

Now, a year after Finlay's death, the Department of Transport says it will be reviewing whether or not a statutory testing regime is needed for light trailers. Finlay's family have welcomed the news.

His dad, Wayne, said: “If we can prevent another person dying, then Finlay's life will not just have been a privilege for us.”

The family's campaign has included a petition, which was set up with the help of Amber Valley borough councillor Juliette Blake, which has been signed by 1,220 people.

Finlay's grandfather, Paul Martin, 51, said: “At the moment, you can keep a trailer rotting in a field for three years and then bring it out and use it.

“We want to raise awareness of how dangerous trailers can be and urge people to keep them properly maintained.

“If that trailer had been tested and properly maintained, this might not have happened.”

A Department for Transport spokesman confirmed a review would take place.

He said: “We will be reviewing the question of whether or not a statutory testing regime is needed for light trailers.

“People who use trailers are required by law to keep them properly maintained and in a roadworthy condition.

“However, the evidence we have to date suggests most accidents involving light trailers are not caused by maintenance defects on the trailer.

“Many are caused by the way the towing vehicle was driven or occur because the trailer was not connected to the towing vehicle correctly.”

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