As of today, Hungarian authorities will finally have the legal means to root out so-called “horror caravans” that have been plaguing the highways of the region for decades, the Ministry of Information and Technology said in a statement.
“Horror caravans” are almost exclusively combinations of vehicles towed by foreign vehicles. Their drivers typically transport used cars purchased in Western Europe, often inoperable, to eastern destination countries by transporting multiple cars on trailers attached to each other at the same time, securing their cargo by makeshift means. These unscrupulous profiteers also pose a serious threat to traffic safety in Hungary.
Why is the new rule important?
Previously, the transport authority could only check and sanction those vehicles that inadequately securing their cargo for trucks heavier than 3.5 tons on the road.
“As of now, the relevant provision of the Road Traffic Act allows the vehicle to be detained until the fine or monetary claim insurance is paid. The possibility of sanctions extended to passenger cars and vans therefore also justifies the immediate ban on combinations of vehicles,” the statement says. Now, it will be possible to slap fines of up to 500,000 forints (€1,400) on violators and only allow them to continue driving if the fine has been paid and the caravan of used vehicles has been dismantled.
“‘Horror caravans’ are extreme examples of driver irresponsibility, and perpetrators must be permanently discouraged from severely hazardous DIY solutions,” said László Mosóczi, junior minister in charge of road safety, adding that there will also be targeted controls along the busiest international transit routes.
Employees of the transport authority in the Ministry of Innovation and Technology found 108 cases of infringements during their relevant roadside inspections last year.
In addition to the technical deficiencies, a total of 77 million forints in on-site fines were imposed for failures related to documentation. Using the new opportunity, the inspection authority can now take more effective action against “horror caravans” in order to curb the high-risk practice.
Title image: Illegal trailer transport in Hungary. (source: totalcar.hu)