The ban follows an extensive investigation, including research commissioned by the Department for Transport, which indicates ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.
The move will make it illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses.
The secondary legislation will be laid in the autumn and will also apply to re-treaded tyres – with the date of re-treading to be marked – making the age of the tyre clearly visible.
Minister Vere said: “In the same way that you wouldn’t drive a car with faulty brakes, ensuring your tyres are fit for purpose is crucial in making every journey safer. Taking this step will give drivers across the country confidence their lorries, buses and coaches are truly fit for use – a safety boost for road users everywhere. This change is in no small way the result of years of campaigning, particularly from Frances Molloy, to whom I thank and pay tribute.”
Frances Molloy’s son Michael died in a coach crash in 2012 when the vehicle had a 19-year-old tyre fitted to the front axle. Since the accident, she has campaigned to see the law changed.
Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles. This will also now include ensuring vehicle tyres meet the new requirements. The government will also be asking DVSA to continue checking tyre age as part of its routine roadside enforcement activities and adding an additional assessment to the annual test scheme (MOT test).
DVSA said: “DVSA already checks for tyres over 10 years old during roadside enforcement stops. This change in the law will allow us to issue stronger penalties if found at roadside enforcement checks. This change also means the issue can be covered by the annual test (MOT) in the future.” It adds that it will update operators with more information in due course.
Transport Engineer featured the issue on its front cover in March 2018; see link to article below.