It will be illegal for HGVs, buses, coaches and trailers over 3.5 tonnes to use tyres that are over 10 years old on the front axle and on all wheels for a minibus from 1 February 2021. Secondary legislation was laid before Parliament on 29 October which also resulted in commercial tyres that have been re-tread also becoming illegal for use on the front axle of a commercial vehicle in the UK from 1 February 2021 if older than 10 years. This will give the DVSA checking tyres over 10 years old at roadside enforcement stops, the power to issue stiffer penalties if there is found to be an infringement of the new law. It also means that the issue can now be covered by the annual test (MOT) and that police officers will also be entitled to enforce the rules and issue penalties.
The ban does not apply to tyres fitted in a twin configuration, as the failure of one tyre presents a lower risk or loss of control and vehicle stability. Vehicle operators should also note that the date of the tyres indicated on the tyres needs to be kept and maintained in a legible form.
From the beginning of 2021 Hauliers can expect to receive a severe roadworthiness prohibition and face further investigations if DVSA enforcement officers discover a tyre aged over 10 years old fitted to a vehicle’s front axle. Traffic Commissioners will also be notified of repeated non-compliances, which could be taken into account in a review of their Operator’s licence. The only exemptions to the rule are for historical vehicles and agricultural vehicles such as tractors.
Tyres should be inspected as part of a drivers’ walk-around vehicle safety checks and any tyres that are close to being 10 years old can reported in real-time using SmartCheck so that tyres can be made available and fitted when the vehicle next returns to the depot.
The DVSA have updated their Inspection manuals accordingly.
The new regulations exempt non-commercial vehicles aged 40 years and older from these requirements.
Posted on: 21.12.2020