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Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

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C —Trailers and Sidecars

Number of trailers

95.—(1) A person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a wheeled vehicle of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table drawing a trailer, subject to any exceptions which may be specified in that item in column 3.

TABLE

(regulation 95(1))

(1)(2)(3)
ItemClass of vehicleExceptions
1.A straddle carrier
2.An invalid carriage
3.A bus not being a minibus

(a)1 broken-down bus where no person other than the driver is carried in either vehicle; or

(b)1 trailer.

4.A locomotive3 trailers.
5.A motor tractor1 trailer, 2 trailers if neither is laden.
6.A heavy motor car or a motor car not described in item 1 or 3

2 trailers if one of them is a towing implement and part of the other is secured to and either rests on or is suspended from that implement.

1 trailer in any other case.

7.An agricultural motor vehicle

(a)in respect of trailers other than agricultural trailers and agricultural trailed appliances, such trailers as are permitted under items 4, 5, or 6 as the case may be; or

(b)in respect of agricultural trailers and agricultural trailed appliances—

(i)2 unladen agricultural trailers, or

(ii)1 agricultural trailer and 1 agricultural trailed appliance, or

(iii)2 agricultural trailed appliances.

(2) For the purposes of items 4, 5 and 6 of the Table—

(a)an unladen articulated vehicle, when being drawn by another motor vehicle because it has broken down, shall be treated as a single trailer; and

(b)a towed roller used for the purposes of agriculture, horticulture or forestry and consisting of several separate rollers shall be treated as one agricultural trailed appliance.

(3) No track-laying motor vehicle which exceeds 8m in overall length shall draw a trailer other than a broken-down vehicle which is being drawn in consequence of the breakdown.

(4) For the purposes of this regulation, the word “trailer” does not include a vehicle which is drawn by a steam powered vehicle and which is used solely for carrying water for the purpose of the drawing vehicle.

Trailers drawn by motor cycles

96.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a motor cycle—

(a)drawing behind it more than one trailer;

(b)drawing behind it any trailer carrying a passenger;

(c)drawing behind it a trailer with an unladen weight exceeding 254 kg;

(d)with not more than 2 wheels, without a sidecar, and with an engine capacity which does not exceed 125 cc, drawing behind it any trailer; or

(e)with not more than 2 wheels, without a sidecar and with an engine capacity exceeding 125 cc, drawing behind it any trailer unless—

(i)the trailer has an overall width not exceeding 1m;

(ii)the distance between the rear axle of the motor cycle and the rearmost part of the trailer does not exceed 2.5m;

(iii)the motor cycle is clearly and indelibly marked in a conspicuous and readily accessible position with its kerbside weight;

(iv)the trailer is clearly and indelibly marked in a conspicuous and readily accessible position with its unladen weight; and

(v)the laden weight of the trailer does not exceed 150 kg or two thirds of the kerbside weight of the motor cycle, whichever is the less.

(2) Paragraph (1)(b), (d) and (e) do not apply if the trailer is a broken-down motor cycle and one passenger is riding it.

Trailers drawn by agricultural motor vehicles

97.—(1) A person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a wheeled agricultural motor vehicle drawing one or more wheeled trailers if the weight of the drawing vehicle is less than a quarter of the weight of the trailer or trailers, unless the brakes fitted to each trailer in compliance with regulation 20 or 21 are operated directly by the service braking system fitted to the motor vehicle.

(2) A person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road, any motor vehicle drawing an agricultural trailer of which—

(a)more than 35% of the weight is borne by the drawing vehicle; or

(b)the gross weight exceeds 14,230 kg, unless it is fitted with brakes as mentioned in paragraph (1).

(3) A person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road an agricultural trailer manufactured on or after 1st December 1985 which is drawn by a motor vehicle first used on or after 1st June 1986 unless the brakes fitted to the trailer—

(a)in accordance with regulation 20 can be applied progressively by the driver of the drawing vehicle, from his normal driving position and while keeping proper control of that vehicle, using a means of operation mounted on the drawing vehicle; or

(b)automatically come into operation on the over-run of the trailer.

Distance between motor vehicles and trailers

98.—(1) Where a trailer is attached to the vehicle immediately in front of it solely by means of a rope or chain, the distance between the trailer and that vehicle shall not in any case exceed 4.5m, and shall not exceed 1.5m unless the rope or chain is made clearly visible to any other person using the road within a reasonable distance from either side.

(2) For the purpose of determining the said distance any part of either vehicle designed primarily for use as a means of attaching one vehicle to the other and any fitting designed for use in connection with any such part shall be disregarded.

Use of mechanical coupling devices

99.—(1) This regulation applies to every light passenger vehicle first used on or after 20th April 1999 in respect of which an EC certificate of conformity has effect.

(2) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road any vehicle to which this regulation applies unless any mechanical coupling device which is attached to it complies with the relevant technical and installation requirements of Annexes I, V, VI and VII of Community Directive 94/20(1) and is marked in accordance with sub-paragraphs 3.3.4 to 3.3.5 of Annex I to that Directive.

(3) For the purposes of this regulation, in a case where a vehicle is drawing a trailer a mechanical coupling device shall not be regarded as being attached to that vehicle if it forms part of the trailer.

(4) In this regulation “mechanical coupling device” shall be construed in accordance with paragraph 2.1 of Annex I to Community Directive 94/20.

Use of secondary coupling on trailers

100.—(1) No person shall use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a motor vehicle drawing one trailer if the trailer—

(a)is a trailer to which regulation 20 applies, and

(b)is not fitted with a device which is designed to stop the trailer automatically in the event of the separation of the main coupling while the trailer is in motion,

unless the requirements of paragraph (2) are met in relation to the motor vehicle and trailer.

(2) The requirements of this paragraph, in relation to a motor vehicle drawing a trailer, are that a secondary coupling is attached to the motor vehicle and trailer in such a way that, in the event of a separation of the main coupling while the trailer is in motion—

(a)the drawbar of the trailer would be prevented from touching the ground, and

(b)there would be some residual steering of the trailer.

(3) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road a motor vehicle drawing one trailer if—

(a)the trailer is a trailer to which regulation 20 applies,

(b)the trailer is fitted with a device which is designed to stop the trailer automatically in the event of the separation of the main coupling while the trailer is in motion,

(c)the operation of the device in those circumstances depends upon a secondary coupling linking the device to the motor vehicle, and

(d)the trailer is not fitted with a device which is designed to stop the trailer automatically in those circumstances in the absence of such a secondary coupling,

unless the requirements of paragraph (4) are met in relation to the motor vehicle and trailer.

(4) The requirements of this paragraph, in relation to a motor vehicle drawing a trailer, are that the secondary coupling is attached to the motor vehicle and trailer in such a way that, in the event of a separation of the main coupling while the trailer is in motion, the device of the kind referred to in paragraph (3)(b) and (c) fitted to the trailer would stop the trailer.

(5) This regulation is without prejudice to any other provision in these Regulations.

Unbraked trailers

101.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road an unbraked wheeled trailer if—

(a)its laden weight exceeds its maximum gross weight; or

(b)it is drawn by a vehicle of which the kerbside weight is less than twice the sum of the unladen weight of the trailer and the weight of any load which the trailer is carrying.

(2) This regulation does not apply to—

(a)an agricultural trailer;

(b)a trailer mentioned in paragraphs (b), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), or (i) of regulation 21(3).

Use of bridging plates between motor vehicles and trailers

102.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a motor vehicle constructed for the purpose of carrying other vehicles or any trailer constructed for that purpose so that while such vehicle or trailer is on aroad any part of the weight of any vehicle which is being carried rests on a plate of a kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (i)(h) in the definition in regulation 2(1) of “overall length”.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply—

(a)while the motor vehicle or trailer constructed for the purpose of carrying other vehicles is being loaded or unloaded; or

(b)if the plate is folded or withdrawn so that it does not bridge the gap between the motor vehicle and the trailer.

Leaving trailers at rest

103.  A person in charge of a motor vehicle, or trailer drawn by it, shall not cause or permit such trailer to stand on a road when detached from the drawing vehicle unless one at least of the wheels of the trailer is (or, in the case of a track-laying trailer, its tracks are) prevented from revolving by the setting of the parking brake or the use of a chain, chock or other efficient device.

Passengers in trailers

104.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road any trailer for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a wheeled trailer which is, or is carrying, a broken-down motor vehicle if—

(a)the trailer is drawn at a speed not exceeding 30 mph; and

(b)where the trailer is, or is carrying, a broken-down bus, it is attached to the drawing vehicle by a rigid draw bar.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), a person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a wheeled trailer in which a person is carried and which is a living van having either—

(a)less than 4 wheels; or

(b)4 wheels consisting of two close-coupled wheels on each side.

(4) Paragraph (3) does not apply in respect of a trailer which is being tested by—

(a)its manufacturer;

(b)a person by whom it has been, or is being, repaired; or

(c)a distributor of, or dealer in, trailers.

Attendants on trailers and certain other vehicles

105.—(1) Two persons shall be employed in driving or attending a locomotive while it is being driven on a road, and where a locomotive is drawing trailers on a road, one or more additional persons shall be employed for the purpose of attending to the trailers at the rate of one such additional person for each trailer in excess of one.

(2) Where a motor vehicle other than a locomotive is drawing a trailer on a road one person, in addition to the driver of the vehicle, shall be carried either on the vehicle or on a trailer for the purpose of attending to the trailer.

(3) The provisions of the foregoing paragraphs shall not apply in respect of the following vehicles—

(a)an articulated vehicle;

(b)an agricultural motor vehicle drawing an agricultural trailer or an agricultural trailed appliance;

(c)a trailer with not more than two wheels drawn by a motor car or a motor cycle or a four-wheeled trailer having two close-coupled wheels on each side drawn by a motor car;

(d)a motor tractor drawing a—

(i)closed trailer specially constructed and used for the conveyance of meat between docks and railway stations or between wholesale markets and docks or railway stations;

(ii)machine or implement used for the purpose of the maintenance, repair or cleansing of roads; or

(iii)refuse vehicle;

(e)a works truck drawing any works trailer where the unladen weight of each vehicle does not exceed 1525 kg;

(f)a motor vehicle drawing a trailer which has no brakes other than a parking brake and brakes which automatically come into operation on the overrun of the trailer;

(g)a road roller;

(h)a motor vehicle belonging to the Secretary of State for Defence and being used for naval, military or air force purposes drawing a trailer fitted with brakes which can be applied by the driver of the drawing vehicle;

(i)a motor vehicle drawing a broken-down vehicle, whether or not in consequence of a breakdown, in such a manner that the broken-down vehicle cannot be steered by its own steering gear;

(j)a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle in the exercise of a statutory power of removal in such a manner that the vehicle being so drawn cannot be steered by its own steering gear;

(k)a motor vehicle which is drawing a towing implement not attached to any other vehicle; or

(1) a motor vehicle drawing a trailer or trailers where every such trailer is fitted with power-assisted or power-operated brakes which can be operated by the driver of the drawing vehicle and are not rendered ineffective by the non-rotation of the engine of the drawing vehicle—

(i)where one such trailer is drawn; or

(ii)where two or more such trailers are drawn, if one attendant is carried on either the drawing vehicle or a trailer for the purpose of attending to the trailers.

(4) The requirements of this regulation with regard to the employment of persons to drive or attend a locomotive whilst being driven on a road shall not apply in the case of a locomotive propelled by the combustion of liquid fuel or by electrical power, whether or not the locomotive is drawing a trailer.

(5) This regulation shall not prejudice the operation of any provision of regulation 94 insofar as it provides, in relation to the use of a vehicle on a road, for compliance with the conditions specified in paragraph 2 of Part I of Schedule 15 (which relates to the employment of persons in attending to vehicles and their load).

(6) For the purposes of this regulation the expression “trailer” does not include a vehicle used solely for carrying water for the purposes of the drawing vehicle or an agricultural vehicle not constructed to carry a load.

Attachment of sidecars

106.  A sidecar fitted to a motor cycle shall be so attached that the wheel of the sidecar is not wholly outside the space between transverse planes passing through the extreme projecting points at the front and at the rear of the motor cycle.

Use of sidecars

107.  A person shall not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a road a two-wheeled motor cycle registered on or after 1st August 1981, not being a motor cycle brought temporarily into Northern Ireland by a person resident abroad, if there is a sidecar attached to the right (or off) side of the motor cycle.

(1)

O.J. No. L195, 29.7.94, p. 1

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