Tyres aged 10 years and older will be banned from HGVs under new rules to improve road safety. The ban extends to buses and coaches too and is the result of research, commissioned by the DfT in 2019, which indicates that ageing tyres suffer corrosion that could cause them to fail.
Announced on 15 July, it applies to roads in England, Scotland and Wales and is expected to come into effect this Autumn.
The move makes it illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses. Secondary 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.
Roads Minister Baroness 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.”
Baroness Vere continued, “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, Mrs 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 to continue checking tyre age as part of their routine roadside enforcement activities and adding an additional assessment to the annual test scheme (MOT test).