The Government is to consult on options to ban older tyres from use on coaches, buses, heavy goods vehicles and minibuses in a bid to improve road safety.
On Tuesday 26 February the Department for Transport (DfT) announced plans to consult on legislation to make it illegal for vehicles to operate with a tyre aged over 10 years or over.
The consultation comes after a research project launched by the government last year, examining how the age of a tyre affects road safety.
Speaking about the proposed consultation, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Keeping people safe on our roads is our priority, and we have been working hard to understand the link between tyre age and road safety.
Emerging evidence and leading expert testimony shows us that we need to ban tyres over the age of 10 years from larger vehicles based upon the ‘precautionary principle’ – a move that will make our roads safer for everyone.”
The consultation also follows the ‘Tyred’ campaign, led by Frances Molloy whose 18-year-old son Michael was among three people killed in a coach crash on the A3 in 2012, caused by the failure of a 19-year-old tyre on the front axle of the coach.
The Government has already put forward a series of measures on tyre safety, including the DfT issuing guidance advising bus operators against fitting older tyres to the front axles of their vehicles, inspections by Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), and the DVSA’s guidance on maintaining roadworthiness in November of 2018.
In 2018, the Government also commissioned research to establish the effect that age has on the integrity of road vehicle tyres.
As part of this research, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory has worked with a leading laboratory in the US to carry out testing and analysis.
The outcome of this research will be published in the spring.
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