Old tyre ban now in force
Old tyre ban now in force
This month sees the start of the ban on tyres aged over 10 years fitted to front-steered axles on lorries.
The new legislation covers England, Scotland and Wales and affects tyres fitted to goods vehicles with a maximum gross weight exceeding 3,500kg. The ban follows extensive research commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), which indicated that ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.
The DfT said tyres fitted in twin configuration are not included in the new legislation, since a failure of one tyre in a pair presents a lower risk of loss of directional control or stability. Both new and re-tread tyres are already required to be marked with their date of manufacture which can be used to determine their age. The DVSA said it was now enforcing the new rules at roadside checks along with vehicle annual tests. It has also revised its enforcement sanctions policy to reflect the new offences, which includes affected tyres over 10 years old and not having a date marking that is clearly legible.
The penalty include a £100 fixed penalty; endorsable points on the driver’s licence and a possible prosecution for more than one endorsable offence.
Traffic Commissioners may also be notified of tyre maintenance issues involving an operator, which could be taken into account in a public inquiry.
Licence curtailed following wheel loss event
A Northampton haulier has escaped with a two-week licence curtailment after one of its vehicles was involved in a wheel loss incident.
Eastern area traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt explained that Weedon-based international haulier Drinkwater was only now starting to recover from the lockdown period and it had provided significant mitigation in terms of the actions taken since the wheel loss incident in December 2019. The vehicle received an S-marked prohibition and inspections showed that the wheel hub was damaged and the washers were loose enough to be turned using fingers. An unannounced follow-up visit to the operator’s premises by a vehicle examiner also found PMI forms not filled in correctly; a lack of facilities for the maintenance contractor to carry out weekly inspections and an absence of roller brake tests.
However, Drinkwater said systems were now in place to prevent the identified shortcomings; daily defect reports would be adopted going forward; Tapley brake testing would take place every six weeks and a roller brake tester used quarterly.
In his written decision, TC Turfitt acknowledged the efforts carried out by the firm, whose director is David Drinkwater and transport manager Lee Drinkwater, but he added: “However, the fact that the most serious infringement occurred in the first place inevitably damages the repute of the operator and its transport manager. The risk materialised in the form of a wheel-loss shows there is a need for deterrent action to ensure future compliance. The licence will be curtailed by one vehicle for a period of 14 days.”