WITH the summer season in full swing, Northumbria Police is warning motorists of the dangers of towing unsafe or insecure caravans.

Operation Towball, which is running throughout August by Northumbria Police, will involve traffic officers checking vehicles across the force area which are towing trailers caravans, horse boxes and plant hire.

Vehicles which are stopped will have their trailers fully examined, including loading of the trailer, tyre safety, lights, brakes, number plates and general roadworthiness.

Motorists whose vehicles do not meet basic standards will either be given 14 days to get repairs carried out or, in extreme cases, be prevented from continuing their journey until the necessary repairs are done.

Officers will be paying particular attention to cars registered after January 1998, with a towbar fitted, which must bear an EEC approved plate.

A similar initiative last year resulted in about 500 vehicles being stopped. Half of those were found to have some form of defect.