The DVSA has said it will carry out follow-up investigations if a tyre more than ten years old is found on a commercial vehicle as part of its routine heavy vehicle enforcement work.
If the operator cannot give an adequate explanation for using an old tyre, or their tyre management systems are not up to standard, DVSA may refer them to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner for potential regulatory action.
Jesse Norman, Roads Minister, said: “I asked the DVSA to consider this measure as a means to tighten enforcement against the use of older and potentially dangerous tyres.
“This is an important step forward in our efforts to improve tyre safety.
“The Department for Transport is continuing to work with experts to collect robust evidence on older tyres.
“This research will report back in the spring.”
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, said: “Tyre safety is vital and DVSA has always taken strong action to protect the public from unsafe tyres of all ages.
“By changing our approach, we’re sending the message that no one should use tyres more than ten years old.”
DVSA has also updated its categorisation of defects guide for agency enforcement staff to include tyres aged more than ten years old fitted to any heavy vehicle or trailer.
Safety of ageing tyres
Earlier this year, the DfT announced a study into the safety of ageing tyres – the first publicly funded research of its kind in the UK.
In 2013, the DfT issued guidance to all operators setting out that tyres that have reached the age of ten years should not be used on a steering axle, and stipulating strict conditions if they’re to be used at all.
Since then, the DVSA vehicle standard standards assessors and vehicle examiners have routinely checked the age of tyres on these vehicles every year, as well as in fleet and roadside inspections.
Do you believe more should be done to protect against the dangers of aging tyres on passenger cars too? Share your comments below.