South Simcoe Police would like to remind the public about safe trailer use.

Trailers come in many shapes and sizes. Pulling a trailer requires extra care and attention. A trailer puts extra weight on your vehicle and increases the space you need to drive and stop safely. Trailer safety involves some simple and important rules.

A trailer must be registered and licensed before it can be used on the road.

Before using your trailer, make sure it is in safe operating condition. Inspect the lights, tires, brakes (if equipped), bearings, safety chains and hitch. The law requires brakes on trailers that weigh 1360 kg (3000 lb) or more.

You must have two separate means of attachment between your vehicle and the trailer. Safety chains should be crossed under the tongue to prevent the tongue from dropping to the road should the primary hitch accidentally disconnect. It is required that chain hooks have latches or devices that prevent accidental disconnect. The breaking strength of each chain should equal the gross weight of the towed trailer.

When attaching the trailer to a vehicle, make sure it is hitched securely. The trailer tongue should be snug on the ball when locked. Never overload the trailer. Overloading or poor load distribution can cause serious swaying and separation when driving and possible tire, wheel bearing and axle failure. Also, the law requires that loose objects be covered with a tarp and everything be strapped down so nothing can bounce or fly off.

Fines range from $110 to $390 for trailer and load offences.

Safe travels, and remember you are responsible for the trailer behind you.