New measures are being brought in to improve road safety. Roads Minister Baroness Vere has announced that tyres aged 10 years and older will be banned on the front axles of lorries, buses and coaches on roads in England, Scotland and Wales in a bid to improve commercial vehicle road safety.
In the Autumn, secondary legislation will be introduced, making it illegal to fit tyres 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches and all wheels of minibuses. The legislation will also apply to re-treaded tyres – with the date of re-treading to be marked, making the age of the tyre clearly visible.
Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles. This will also now include ensuring vehicle tyres meet the new requirements. DVSA already check for tyres over 10 years old during roadside enforcement stops; however, the change in the law will enable them to issue stronger penalties, which may include the issue of prohibition notices and fixed penalties (both of which will adversely affect your OCRS score, lead to a DVSA investigation and potentially a referral to a Public Inquiry before the Traffic Commissioner for consideration of action against your Operator’s Licence). The Government is also asking DVSA to add tyre age as an additional item at MOT.
Operators should conduct an audit of their tyres (including any spare tyres they may have) and review their tyre management policies in anticipation of the changes. They should also make drivers, workshop staff and tyre contractors aware of the new requirements and their expectations in this regard.
Further information is expected to be released ahead of the change in the law and contact Backhouse Jones’ Regulatory team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01254 828300 for advice.