Minister of State for the Department for Transport (DfT), Jesse Norman, used a written statement to Parliament to reaffirm government commitment to ensuring vehicles tackle issues associated with ageing tyres.
Mr Norman said that politicians throughout the House of Commons have expressed concern about the dangers posed by ageing tyres – “a matter of great concern to the government” – and as such, an update has been provided on measures being taken.
By updating the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) guidance, vehicle operators – be it HGVs, buses or coaches – now cannot use tyres that are 10 years of age on the front or steering axles of the vehicles.
To improve safety of buses, coaches and HGVs, any of these heavy vehicles that are identified by the DVSA as using older tyres will be investigated.
In the two months to January 25, more than 7,000 checks were carried out by the DVSA, with 14 vehicles found to be using ageing tyres.
It reveals two things: the government is working to reduce the potential for collisions on the roads in the UK, and that the policies in place are working, given the relatively low level of infringement.
Mr Norman said that the DfT is working to make sure operators know how to meet compliance levels.
He said: “The DfT and its agencies continue to work together to ensure vehicle operators understand how to maintain the safety and roadworthiness of their vehicles, including their tyres, and to enforce any non-compliance.”
The safety of tyres is a huge element of ensuring health and safety on the roads; areas of Britain are embarking on the Vision Zero initiative that is committed to reducing road collisions.
Poor condition of tyres fits into this narrative and the work to eradicate this will undoubtedly help reduce avoidable collisions – which is the key element of the whole initiative.
Mr Norman concluded by confirming “pioneering new research” will help to strengthen understanding of the effect of age on the integrity of road vehicle tyres.
The findings will be presented in the spring.