Commercial vehicle operators using old tyres could face OTC action

Commercial vehicle operators using old tyres could face OTC legal action

Vehicle operators found using tyres more than 10 years old will face a follow-up investigation and potential regulatory action, the DVSA has announced.

From today (November 23), if DVSA enforcement staff find a tyre more than 10 years old, they will carry out follow-up investigations on the vehicle operator. 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.

The new instruction is part of a revised guide to maintaining roadworthiness, the formal guidance for commercial vehicle operators on how to make sure their vehicles are safe to drive.

In 2013, DfT issued guidance to all operators setting out that tyres that have reached the age of 10 years should not be used on a steering axle, and stipulating strict conditions if they’re to be used at all.

Jesse Norman (pictured above), 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: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“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 10 years old.”

DVSA has also updated its categorisation of defects guide to include tyres aged more than 10 years old fitted to any heavy vehicle or trailer.

The guide, which is for DVSA enforcement staff, sets out what action they can take when they find roadworthiness defects on vehicles.

From April 2016 to March 2017, DVSA enforcement staff carried out 64,690 mechanical safety checks on heavy goods vehicles and issued 17,405 prohibitions, which prevents drivers from driving until the problem is fixed fixed.

The guide has also been updated to help resolve bridge strikes. It gives guidance for drivers to help make sure they record the height of their vehicle during their daily walkaround checks.