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Training for caravanners could save lives: road experts

As Grey Nomads flock north this winter, Coast road experts believe additional training could save lives.
As Grey Nomads flock north this winter, Coast road experts believe additional training could save lives. Trevor Veale

AS THE mercury dips in the south and the Sunshine Coast stays a balmy 23 degrees, more and more 'grey nomads' are migrating north.

With the increase in caravan-towing tourists, driver education experts are calling for those pulling a portable home to undertake compulsory training to make the roads safer for both them and other drivers.

Mike Clayton from Clayton's Towing said some urban myths can have dire results for caravanners in dangerous situations.

"There's a bit of a saying that if you get the wobbles up that you (should) go faster to get out of them," he said.

 

A motorhome towing a caravan ran off the road near Tiaro, trapping five people inside.
A motorhome towing a caravan ran off the road near Tiaro, trapping five people inside. Carlie Walker

"That's one we've heard so often and it doesn't work.

"If you're towing a caravan, (extra) training doesn't hurt at all."

Roadcraft Driver Education instructor Bruce Woodstock told 7 Sunshine Coast that he finds it scary that a caravan can be towed without any additional training or licence.

"If you want to drive a truck that weights as much as that car or caravan, then you have to have a truck licence," he said.

"You can drive that car and caravan on a standard car licence with no extra training at the moment, and that's the scary thing."

 

Bruce Woodstock Roadcraft instructor. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Bruce Woodstock Roadcraft instructor. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

The Stewarts recently bought a van but didn't feel safe hitting the highway without some extra guidance, so they turned to Roadcraft for help.

"It's made me feel more confident in the vehicle and in myself because I know that I can control the vehicle in an emergency situation and it's not controlling me," Gary Stewart said.

Mandy Stewart said she found the training essential.

"If you haven't had that experience, then it should be compulsory," she said.

Do you think caravanners should have to take mandatory a caravan driving skills course before hitting the road?

This poll ended on 05 July 2017.

Current Results

Yes - anything to make our roads safer

78%

No - that's just more over-regulation of our roads

21%

I'm just sick of getting stuck behind slow caravans that only speed up when you try to pass them on the highway

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  accident bruce highway caravan claytons towing crash grey nomad road safety


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