03 December 2018

DRIVERS NEED TO ‘SPRUCE UP’ THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF CHRISTMAS TREE LAWS OR FACE FINES AND POINTS, SURVEY REVEALS

  • Drivers face three penalty points and an unlimited fine if their Christmas tree isn't loaded correctly
  • 75 per cent of drivers are not aware of safe loading laws
  • One in four drivers admits to not securing their tree at all
  • More than one in 20 drivers are happy to leave their tree 'sticking out' of their car

Three quarters of British motorists have little or no idea about the laws for safely transporting Christmas trees, according to a survey carried out by Fiat Professional.

And around half are planning to buy a real tree for when they deck the halls. But bringing it home could land drivers with three penalty points on their licence, or an unlimited fine.

According to the Fiat Professional research, only 25 per cent of British adults say they know the rules regarding transporting Christmas trees safely on the road. 

And while there is no specific mention of the festive firs in the Highway Code, there is a section about loading your vehicle correctly and safely, which is appropriate at Yule time.

A Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency spokesman said: "A dangerously loaded vehicle will incur an instant three penalty points on your licence, along with an uncapped fine." That means drivers could face a bill of thousands of pounds if they get needled.        

Around six per cent of drivers admit they have previously transported a tree in a manner which 'may have contravened the rules of the road' by leaving the tree hanging out of their vehicle, while an astonishing 25 per cent admit to just 'throwing it in the car' and not securing it. A further five per cent carry the tree home on the roof of their car, irrespective of whether or not they have a roof rack, securing it with rope or ratchet straps.

Where the tree is longer than the vehicle, the Highway Code clearly states that the overhanging load should feature a reflective flag to warn other motorists, while it mustn't obscure the driver's vision of the road.

Drivers of the new Fiat Professional Fullback and Fullback Cross won't have this problem though. With comfortable seating for five and a cargo bed space of 1520mm (length) and 1470mm (width), the whole family can go out for the traditional Christmas tree buying trip, and bring it home safely and legally.

"The Highway Code clearly states that drivers must not overload their vehicle and must secure any load so that it doesn't stick out dangerously," says Richard Chamberlain, Head of Brand, Fiat Professional UK.

"The Fiat Fullback would certainly give owners plenty of space to carry a large tree, even if it had to be tied down, which can be done easily and safely with the Fullback's load space. And as an added bonus, drivers won't get stuck in the snow if it's a white Christmas this year. The Fullback comes as standard with 4x4 transmission - with diff lock on the Cross versions."

Pricing for the Fiat Fullback starts at £21,995 (exc VAT) for the 150HP Manual SX, rising to £27,995 (exc VAT) for the 180HP Auto Cross.

Ends

Notes to editors: Fiat Professional surveyed a cross section of 500 British households between November 18 and 20, 2018, via surveymonkey.co.uk

More information:

Tom Johnston - Press Relations Manager +44 (0) 1753 519562 tom.johnston@fcagroup.com
Kate Saxton - PR Director +44 (0) 1753 519592 kate.saxton@fcagroup.com

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