Here’s an interesting development in the road safety arena brought to FleetWatch’s attention by Craig Proctor-Parker, MD of Durban-based Accident Specialists who also volunteers his time and knowledge as one of our expert trainers on the FleetWatch Brake & Tyre Watch projects.
Obviously this news came to mind based on the large number of tyres we find during our inspection days that are either totally unroadworthy or aged. It is about the decision by the UK Department of Transport to ban tyres aged 10 years and older from trucks, buses and coaches in a boost to road safety. The announcement was made by the UK’s Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, and will apply in England, Scotland and Wales.
The ban follows an extensive investigation, including research commissioned by the Department for Transport which indicates ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail. The move will make it illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of trucks, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses.
The secondary legislation will follow and will also apply to re-treaded tyres – with the date of re-treading to be marked – making the age of the tyre clearly visible.
Minister 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.”
In making the announcement, the Minister paid tribute to Francis Molley who, for many years, has campaigned for such a ban. 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, 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 the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to continue checking tyre age as part of their routine roadside enforcement activities and adding an additional assessment to the annual test scheme.
The announcement is the latest step taken to improve road safety following the launch last year of the UK’s Road Safety Statement and two-year action plan, which set out more than 70 measures to reduce the number of people killed or injured on roads around the country.