Government considers banning older tyres on large vehicles

Written by: Fuel Card Services, Last updated:11th August 2020

Government considers banning older tyres

The government has launched a consultation to determine if a ban should be imposed on older tyres being used on large vehicles.

As part of the proposals, tyres aged ten years or above would have to be replaced by law on buses, coaches, lorries and minibuses, with further bans being considered for fleet vehicles such as taxis.

Improving road safety

The consultation lasts ten weeks and began yesterday (June 23rd 2019), with evidence to be heard from a variety of stakeholders.

It came about following a dedicated campaign by Frances Molloy, whose son Michael died in a coach crash in 2012. An inquest heard the tyre that caused the crash was an astonishing 19 years old, which prompted her to launch the ‘Tyred’ drive that led to the new investigation.

A further study published by the Department for Transport last week found ageing tyres sustain corrosion that could easily cause them to fail.

If the consultation results in the idea of a ban being supported, new regulations could come into force as early as next year.

Road safety minister Michael Ellis said: “Our priority is keeping people safe on our roads, and we are taking action to reduce the number of people killed or injured. 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 Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency  has already updated its guidelines to say tyres aged ten years or above should not be used on the front axles of heavy goods vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) states 14 people were killed and 115 seriously injured in accidents in 2017 in which illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were deemed to be a contributory factor.

It recommends that worn tyres are replaced well before the legal minimum tread limit of 1.6mm and ideally as soon as they reach 3mm.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “It is vital for fleet owners and all other road users to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, and that includes the tyres. We would support a ban on older tyres and will be interested to hear the findings of this new consultation.”