The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has reminded fleet operators that tyres aged over 10 years are now banned on the front steered axles of lorries, buses and coaches, as well as on all single wheels of minibuses (9-16 passenger seats).
“To prove the age of a tyre it is further required that manufacture date, printed on the tyre, remain legible on all tyres,” DVSA has said.
“Retreaded tyres are subject to the same requirement as first-life tyres. The date of retreading, instead of date of first manufacture, will be used to determine the tyre age.”
Limited exemptions apply, which are detailed here.
DVSA has revised its enforcement policies to incorporate penalties for the new offences, which came into force on 1 February. These may be payable if tyres over 10 years of age are identified, or if a date marking is not clearly legible.
Possible consequences include £100 fixed penalties, endorsable points on a driver’s licence, and prosecution for more than one endorsable offence. Full detail on the updated DVSA enforcement and sanctions policy is now available here.
Further information is available from the DVSA ‘Moving On’ blog at the gov.uk website. The blog includes questions and comments from fleet operators, with answers from DVSA personnel.
Late last year, the charity TyreSafe welcomed the government’s decision to address the issue of ageing tyres.
“Ensuring tyres are fit for purpose is crucial – they provide the only point of contact between a vehicle and the road,” said Stuart Jackson,chair of TyreSafe.
“There are many factors which can negatively impact on their performance, and the ageing process is one which has quite reasonably received a lot of attention. The government’s willingness to address that concern has to be welcomed as it can only reduce the risks of a tyre-related incident if those tyres are also correctly inflated, have at least the minimum legal tread depth and are otherwise in a roadworthy condition.”
He added: “The acknowledgement of the wide-spread safety concern over the safety of part worns being sold to the public is also very welcome. TyreSafe is here to educate and raise awareness on tyre safety, and the results of our investigations with Trading Standards, which have revealed nearly two-thirds of tyres that were inspected were unsafe, has done just that.”