Articulated Vehicles

Date01 January 1955
DOI10.1177/002201835501900109
Publication Date01 January 1955
SubjectArticle
Articulated Vehicles
THE law relating to articulated vehicles will be reviewed
in this article. By reg. 3 of
the
Motor Vehicles (Con-
struction and Use) Regulations, 1951, 'articulated vehicle'
means in those Regulations a heavy motor-car or a motor-car
with atrailer so attached to the drawing vehicle
that
part
of
the
trailer is superimposed upon the drawing vehicle, and when
the trailer is uniformly loaded, not less
than
20
per cent. of the
weight of its load is borne by
the
drawing vehicle. In
the
Vehicles (Excise) Act, 1949, s. 5 (4), the reference is to a trailer
attached by partial superimposition.
The
articulated vehicles
most commonly seen are those used by
the
Railway Executive
to deliver goods (sometimes called 'mechanical horses')
and
some of
the
multi-wheeled heavier motor vehicles.
These
vehicles can be physically separated; the Executive's mechani-
cal horses frequently are
and
the
front
unit
(or drawing
vehicle) is sometimes driven on roads without
the
back
unit
(or trailer).
To
constitute a vehicle an articulated vehicle it
does not suffice
that
asubstantial part of
the
weight of
the
back
unit
is borne by
the
front
unit;
the
back
unit
must
be
superimposed on it in addition (Hunter v.
Towers
(1951) 1
All
E.R. 349, 'infra').
An articulated vehicle is, for
the
purposes of
the
Road
Traffic Acts, a vehicle with atrailer and not one vehicle. In
Spiers v.
Dobinson
(98 J.P. N.25; ,Motor Transport', zoth
May, 1933) there was an eight-wheeled vehicle, consisting of
the
drawing vehicle and the back
unit
(or trailer) superimposed
so
that
asubstantial
part
of its weight was borne by
the
drawing vehicle and, when unattached, the front of
the
trailer
would fall to
the
ground.
The
driver had been charged with
exceeding
the
speed limit applicable to a vehicle drawing a
trailer
under
the
Road Traffic Act, 1930, Sch. 1, para. 2 (2),
which relates to
the
speed of goods vehicles drawing atrailer.
He
contended
that
his vehicle was one vehicle, not a vehicle
and atrailer, so
that
its speed was calculated
under
para. 2 (1)
of
that
Schedule. Avory,
J.,
intervened to suggest
that
this
79

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