Under South Australia's state driving regulations, towing with a vehicle is defined as pulling a trailer, a caravan or a car via a towing bar. This is only possible to do legally if the vehicle doing the towing is specifically designed for the purpose. Most modern family cars are, but it is still worth checking in your owner's manual before fitting a towing bar and finding that you fall foul of the regulations. Once you are ready to get towing, there are still some further state restrictions to consider before heading out on the road.
Towing Rules of the Road
Just as when you are driving normally, towing vehicles must obey the speed limit and any local motoring regulations that might be set out, for example near to schools. The authorities must consider that you have full control over the trailer or towed vehicle at all times and may stop you if they deem you to not be sufficiently safe. Towed vehicles attached by a rope must be no further than four metres behind the lead vehicle with a cloth tied to the middle to act as a visual marker for other road users.
Most cars and trucks will have a towing capacity listed in their technical data. The weight of the load you intend to tow must not exceed this limit. Furthermore, towing bars are also deemed to have a legal capacity. This limitation differs depending on what towing bar you have fitted to your car, so it is important to check. In South Australia, the weight limit of what you can tow is defined as the lower of the two, either the car's capacity or that of the towing bar.
No passengers may travel in a trailer or a caravan while it is being towed. If you are towing a car, then a driver is allowed inside in order to operate the steering and the brakes – useful if you are helping to move a broken down vehicle. However, no other passenger is allowed to travel in the towed vehicle in the state.
Indicators and Brake Lights
Any caravan or trailer that is being towed in South Australia must offer a visual indication of how it is being manoeuvred. Trailer lighting must be connected to the towing vehicle which has left and right indicators. For any trailer that has been manufactured since 1973, brake lights must also be connected to allow other motorists to know when the vehicle is slowing.