Consultation into ageing tyres launched

A consultation into plans to prevent tyres aged 10 years and older from being used on HGVs, buses, coaches and minibuses has been launched. It follows a campaign by Frances Molloy, whose son Michael died in 2012 in a coach crash caused by a 19-year-old tyre.

The government said a growing body of evidence shows ageing tyres suffer corrosion, which could cause them to fail. The evidence includes reports from two fatal crashes – one involving a coach on the A3 in 2012 and another on the M5 in 2017 involving an HGV.

Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis said: “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 DVSA has already updated its guidance on maintaining roadworthiness to say tyres aged 10 years and older should not be used on the front axles of HGVs, as well as buses and coaches.

Bus operators are also advised not to use older tyres at the front of their vehicles and inspections since 2017 showed only 0.06% were in breach of the guidance.

  • Why not register for our Compliance Bulletin to receive the latest legal and fleet management advice fortnightly? Sign up free now

Compliance failings result in O-licence cut

digital tachograph

A Rochester operator has had its licence cut from five HGVs to three for 21 days after deputy traffic commissioner (TC) John Baker found that it had breached sections of the Goods Vehicles Act. However, he did not find enough evidence to prove its driver, Daniel Dinica, was using two digital tachograph cards for himself.

Baker said it was feasible that Erry Transport driver Dinica did have another driver – Mr Badea – in the cab sharing the work, in order to give him experience of driving in London.

However, he decided to curtail the licence due to maintenance and compliance failings, and because the traffic commissioner was not notified of a change in maintenance provider.

An Eastbourne public inquiry (PI) heard how Dinica was stopped by the police. A download of the tachograph data revealed offences and occasions when the vehicle had been driven with no card inserted. There were also occasions when more than one card was used on the same day and the ‘change-over’ between them was completed in a short space of time.

However, Dinica told the PI he was helping his Romanian friend Badea and sole director Brendan Woods had agreed to the arrangement – something Woods also confirmed to the PI.

Dinica’s driving entitlement was suspended for 21 days. Due to infringements in the management of the compliance regime at the firm, its licence was curtailed and transport manager Susan Le Montagne’s repute was tarnished but retained.

  • Why not register for our Compliance Bulletin to receive the latest legal and fleet management advice fortnightly? Sign up free now