By Tim Ridyard, Partner, Ashtons Legal
The Department for Transport has confirmed what was anticipated, namely a ban on certain tyres from February 2021. The Construction & Use Regulations ( C&U) will be amended to reflect this. In essence, tyres that are more than 10 years old will not be permitted on the front steer axles of heavy goods vehicles or buses or coaches or any single wheels fitted to minibuses (i.e. those with 9 – 16 passenger seats).
A failure to comply with this will have the following consequences:-
- DVSA checks – these unlawful tyres will be regarded as dangerous, attracting an S-marked and immediate roadside prohibition.
- the manufacturers date code must be legible on every tyre that is fitted to an HGV, a trailer over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches or minibuses. It will be a fail item on annual test and trigger a delayed prohibition on DVSA roadside checks at least. (An illegible code on other wheel positions will trigger a minor fail on annual test and a Roadside Inspection Notice being issued.)
- operators will need a proper tyre replacement / management system in place.
- historic, non-commercial vehicles aged 40 years and older are exempt.
- DVSA intends to report driver operators to the Traffic Commissioner if relevant tyres more than 10 years old (or without a legible date code) are used and potential for referral to the Traffic Commissioner if there is absent a proper tyre management regime.
In January 2021 all relevant manuals will be updated: categorisation of defects and annual test / inspection manuals.
New 2020 DVSA Guide
The DVSA has updated its Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness with effect from 15 December 2020. New additions includes further advice with regard to tyre monitoring and usage in anticipation of law changes due in February 2021 (see above).
This Guide has no statutory basis – however, its content sets out good practice that all operators and drivers should read and implement. In the event of any adverse events, DVSA investigations or accidents, the Court or a Traffic Commissioner will question why a business has not applied the procedures and systems set out here.
For further advice contact Tim Ridyard firstname.lastname@example.org