More tyre checks needed, says TyreSafe?24 February 2011

TyreSafe is warning that the number of van and other LCV operators, at risk of causing a tyre-related accident through ignorance, is increasing.

Data from the latest VOSA effectiveness report shows that condition of tyres remains the most frequent prohibition defect at spot checks on light goods vehicles across the country. And worryingly, the incidence rate has increased from 20% in 2007/08 and 2008/09, to just under 26% in 2009/10.

"Van tyres lead a particularly hard life, so it is critical that operators regularly check the condition of their tyres for signs of damage or premature and uneven wear," says Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe.

"Building site debris or regular scuffing on kerbs during delivery drops can cause significant damage to tyres. If left unchecked, they may fail at a critical moment, risking serious injury for the driver and other road users," he warns.

Jackson believes that drivers should ensure their van tyres are in a roadworthy condition by inspecting them every day before leaving their premises – just as truck driver do. However, he also points out that business owners have a responsibility and duty of care obligation to provide their employees with a safe working environment – which includes the provision of safe and roadworthy commercial vehicles.

Under the Health and Safety Offences Act (2009), UK courts have greater authority to prosecute businesses for committing offences such as fitting illegal tyres or faulty brakes. The maximum penalty has increased from £5,000 to £20,000.

John Challen

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