Friday 5th July 2019
New government plans for tyre age limit for large vehicles

Large vehicles may be required to only use tyres which are less than a decade old under new government propositions.

Felix Page, Auto Car, reports:

A new law forbidding the use of older tyres for large vehicles could come into force as early as next year.

The Department for Transport is consulting on proposals for new legislation that would require buses, coaches, lorries, heavy trailers and minibuses to run on tyres less than 10 years old.

If implemented, the rules could also be extended to smaller vehicles such as taxis and minicabs.

Road safety minister Michael Ellis said: “There is increasing evidence that age affects the safety of tyres, which is why I think older tyres should not be used on large vehicles.”

The announcement comes seven years after the deaths of three coach passengers, who were fatally injured when a 20-year-old tyre blew out on the A3 in Surrey, sending the vehicle off the road at speed.

Frances Molloy, mother of 18-year-old victim Michael, has been working with the Tyred campaign ever since, to help spread the message that “old tyres kill”.

Since 2012, the government has advised bus operators to not use older tyres at the front of their vehicles. A survey of 139,320 buses carried out by the DVSA found just 0.06% were in violation of this guidance.

This new law would make it a criminal offence to “use or operate a vehicle on a road in Great Britain where a tyre fitted to the vehicle exceeds an age of 10 years or where a re-treaded tyre fitted to a non-steered axle exceeds 10 years from its date of re-treading”.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that cars, caravans, trailers under 3.5 tonnes and motorhomes will be exempt from the legislation.

These stricter rules on what tyres can and cannot be used for larger vehicles is a large step towards safer roads, especially as these vehicles are more likely to be transporting a number of passengers.

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