Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) is to ban tyres aged ten years and older from lorries, buses and coaches on roads in England, Scotland and Wales in a boost to road safety.
The ban follows an investigation including research commissioned by the DfT, that indicates ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.
The move will make it illegal to fit tyres aged ten 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.
“In the same way you wouldn’t drive a car with faulty brakes, ensuring your tyres are fit for purpose is crucial in making every journey safer,” said UK Roads Minister, Baroness Charlotte Vere
“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, Frances Molloy 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 (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to continue checking tyre age as part of their routine roadside enforcement activities and adding an additional assessment to the annual test scheme (MOT).
The announcement is the latest step taken to improve road safety, following the launch last year of the Road Safety Statement and two-year action plan, which set out more than 70 measures to reduce the number of people killed or injured on roads around the UK.