As school terms in South Africa come to an end later in June, South African families will take to our roads, with many towing trailers, boats or caravans.
Many road users might not be aware that their current driving licence may not be legal to tow these trailers.
It is assumed by many drivers in South Africa that by passing their driver’s test, they are automatically qualified to tow, and while this was once the case, it has not been for a long time, reports the Automobile Association.
In 2000, SA switched to the current credit card type driving licences. When this occurred, code 08 licences were automatically converted to EB code licences.
Since then, new standard driving licences issued are code B. What this means is that a Code B licence allows a road user to tow a light luggage trailer weighing less than 750 kg (fully laden).
To tow a heavier trailer, caravan or boat, a code EB licence is required.
John Maytham spoke to Automobile Association spokesperson Layton Beard to find out how this all works.
It does come as a surprise to a lot of people, because there are a lot of folk out there driving with their Code B licences, and merrily towing very heavy trailers, caravans and boats, and unbeknownst to them are breaking the law.— Layton Beard, AA spokesperson
Beard says they decided to investigate this issue after receiving numerous calls from drivers who had been stopped and fined for not having the correct licence.
Should a driver without a Code EB licence be involved in an accident where towing was involved, there may be a case for repudiation of the claim by the insurance company, warns Beard.
To rectify the situation, Beard says you will have to rewrite your learner's test and then do the driver's test to get the correct licence code.
Beard suggests getting a Code C licence for heavy vehicles, as the Code EB will be covered by this licence as well.