Saturday, August 9, 2008

100% of utility trailers defective. 50% of animal trailers defective.

Please check out the email below from M. P..

The survey done on 19th July is particularly relevant because it was exactly a year to the day little Finlay Martin was killed. Every single trailer stopped that day was defective.

The figures speak for themselves.

100% of utility trailers defective.

50% of animal trailers defective.

The Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership Matt to whom has sent the figures will be a perfect group to publicise the campaign for us.

We are a huge step closer now. We have the evidence to throw at the government. Matt is going to commission some more surveys too. He has promised me at least 3 more operations to gather more data. He is also going to take the results to the Greater Midlands Senior Traffic Officer Conference.

Matt mentioned that all the people found with defective trailers seemed to be decent nice people who were given advice about their trailers and were happy to accept they must take action – in fact grateful that the defects had been pointed out to them. Nobody argued or said the classic “why don’t you go and catch some real criminals?” which is something the police usually come across when doing a campaign like this. They all said they simply take out their trailer and load it up without a second thought having left it out in their garden for months on end without maintenance. One man said he maintained his caravan but never even thought about servicing his trailer.

Simon – When you do the Inside Out documentary Matt is happy for you to get in touch with him and maybe to arrange for the television cameras to film one of the future operations at a refuse tip or horse sale or horse show.

When the Ripley and Heanor and Belper News did a recent on line poll on their websites there were around 1500 votes cast with over 95% (Belper News) and 96% (Ripley and Heanor) of respondents in favour of the government bringing in MOT’s for trailers so public opinion is in our favour.

As soon as I have the official response to the Downing Street Petition which expires on 13th August I will forward it to you all for information. However, their response so far has been one of denial claiming that accidents are due to improper loading rather than unroadworthy trailers. We now know the Secretary of State is relying upon fatally flawed data. Finlay’s accident was recorded as improper loading yet the trailer was totally empty!!! I have evidence that towed vehicles coming away from towing vehicles is common but unless people die or are seriously injured when this happens they will simply not be recorded anywhere and indeed we know from Finlay’s accident that even when a little four year old was killed by a runaway trailer the data did not reach the Secretary of State hence he is relying upon inaccurate information.

Very Best Wishes


Councillor Juliette Blake

Member for Heage and Ambergate Ward and Cabinet Support Member for Cleaner, Greener and Safer

Amber Valley Borough Council

Leader of Ripley Town Council

The Old Forge

77 Brook Street




DE56 2AG

01773 853739

Mobile 07502 163812


As discussed we did two operations, sorry for the different format of results. Different teams for each day.:

12th July.
8 trailers checked, 4 in order.
Of the remaining 4:
1. Home made trailer, corrosion and suspension bushes
2. Breakaway cable missing
3. Home made trailer, breakaway cable missing, worn towing hitch
4. Home made trailer, breakaway cable missing, defective brakes

19th July, Loscoe Tip
9 trailers checked:


Unbraked Items Noted Approx Age of Trailer Comments
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling, N/S tyre defective tread depth, Load area (wooden) rotted in places, Offside indicator lens missing Twenty Years plus
BRAKED Coupling worn, Owner had left the park brake applied when leaving the site. Twenty Years plus Owner states always has his caravan serviced!
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling Twenty Years plus
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling Twenty Years plus
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling, o/s indicator lens missing, N/S tyre defective tread depth, O/S hub bearing grease cap missing, body loose but detachment not imminent Twenty Years plus
UNBRAKED Secondary coupling Fitted N/K No number plate
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling Twenty Years plus
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling, Wear in coupling device, mudguards missing. Twenty Years plus
UNBRAKED No secondary coupling N/K

Hope this helps, any questions then give me a ring. I'll be in touch when we have some more results.

I have raised this problem and given our results to the Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership (of which we are members) for them to consider. If this means nothing to you give me a ring and I'll explain it.

If they are willing to work on this they can help with publicity, education and encouragement, whilst we do the enforcement bit

T.C/Inspector, Head of Roads Policing
Derbyshire Constabulary

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