If so be careful how you transport it home – you could be hit with a fine!
There’s only one week exactly left until Christmas Day and whilst most of us have probably had our decorations and tree up since the end of November, there’s quite a few of us who leave it until the week before to get into the festive spirit, so if you’ve still to go out and pick the perfect Christmas tree you might want to first consider how you’re getting it home!
Transporting a tree home in your vehicle might land you in hot water if you don’t know exactly how it should be done.
New research has found that only 7% of adults here in the UK know what the rules are for transporting a Christmas tree on the roads.
There are no specific laws relating to transporting a Christmas tree, however there’s a section in the Highway Code which explains the rules about loading a car and according to Rule 98 Vehicle Towing and Loading, as a driver:
- you MUST NOT tow more than your licence permits. If you passed a car test after 1 Jan 1997 you are restricted on the weight of trailer you can tow.
- you MUST NOT overload your vehicle or trailer. You should not tow a weight greater than that recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle.
- you MUST secure your load and it MUST NOT stick out dangerously. Make sure any heavy or sharp objects and any animals are secured safely. If there is a collision, they might hit someone inside the vehicle and cause serious injury.
- you should properly distribute the weight in your caravan or trailer with heavy items mainly over the axle(s) and ensure a downward load on the tow ball. Manufacturer’s recommended weight and tow ball load should not be exceeded. This should avoid the possibility of swerving or snaking and going out of control. If this does happen, ease of the accelerator and reduce speed gently to regain control.
- carrying a load or pulling a trailer may require you to adjust the headlights
The survey found that more than 10% of motorists confessed to transporting a Christmas tree home in their vehicle in a way that could have broken the rules of the road.
Many admitted to simply tying it loosely on the roof of their car, whilst others said they placed it in the boot and let it hang out over the edge.
More than a quarter of those questioned who’d been stopped by the police admitted that they’d been pulled over on a previous occasion.
The best advice to avoid a fine this festive period is to plan how you’re getting it home before you buy, otherwise you could be hit with a fine of up to £100.
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