A post currently circulating via social media in Australia is warning motorists that the D shackle commonly used when towing boats, trailers and caravans is now illegal. The post claims that using the D shackles can result in a $235 on the spot fine.
According to the post, motorists must now use a specific type of shackle with a load rated pin. Supposedly, police in Gympie have been pulling over all motorists towing boats and trailers and issuing the fines “no questions asked”. (Gympie is a city in southern Queensland, Australia).
However, the claims in the warning are untrue and should not be taken seriously. Motorists are not receiving fines as claimed, in Gympie or anywhere else in Queensland.
The message has been dismissed as a hoax but Queensland Police. In fact, the hoax first appeared back in 2014. At the time, Queensland Police issued the following statement:
MYTH – Changes to requirements for Shackles used when Towing a Trailer
Crime Prevention Officer Brad Taylor on Aug 8, 2014 @ 3:58pm
Recently, information has been circulating on social media about changes that require the shackles used when towing a trailer to be rated as well as police enforcement of this requirement in the Gympie area.
Vehicle Standards can advise that under the current legislation, while the safety chains that are used to connect a trailer to a towing vehicle are required to comply with Australian Standard AS 4177.4 Caravan and light trailer towing components, there is no legal requirement for shackles to comply with a particular Australian Standard.
However, in the interest of road safety, the Department of Transport and Main Roads strongly recommends that vehicle operators use shackles that are either certified to AS 2741-2002 Shackles or are identifiable as having a suitable design for the trailer and towing vehicle combination.
These requirements are not new and have been consistent across most States and Territories for many years.
If this hoax message comes your way, do not share it with others. And inform the person who posted it that the claims are untrue.
An example of the hoax post:
Warning DON'T GET CAUGHT The common D Shackle as we know it, used on every trailer is now ILLEGAL, as of 1st February ALL D Shackles now have to have a load rating pin and design as per picture. Cops in Gympie have been pulling over everyone towing a boat or box trailer and issuing a $235 on the spot fine. No questions asked. SO DON'T GET CAUGHT OUT