This consultation will be of interest if you, or your organisation, own or operate any of the vehicle types listed above, or are involved in the maintenance of these vehicle types, or the manufacture, provision and/or maintenance of tyres for these vehicle types. It will also be of interest to the wider public as drivers and passengers of these vehicles.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is committed to improving road safety for all road users and one route to achieve this is to ensure the continuous assessment of the roadworthiness of vehicles.
In recent years the safety of older tyres on heavy vehicles has become a matter of increasing concern. There have been a number of very serious road traffic collisions involving coaches and trucks, some with tragic consequences where the accident investigator or a Coroner concluded that the tyre failure was as a direct result of its age.
The UK government commissioned research in 2018 with an aim to establish the effect age has on the integrity of road vehicle tyres. As part of this research, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) Ltd has worked with a leading laboratory in the United States to carry out testing and analysis. Collectively, this research and the conclusions from Coroners and investigators have provided evidence that age does affect tyre performance and safety.
From 1 February 2021, legislation is in place in GB which places a ban on 10 year old tyres in GB. The ban applies to the front axles of HGV’s, buses and coaches, and all axles on minibuses when fitted in single configuration. This ban applies not only to vehicles registered in GB but also to those that are visiting GB, which includes those from NI. Currently the South has no policy on this issue.
This consultation document now seeks your views on proposals to introduce legislation making it an offence to use tyres 10 years or older on heavy goods vehicles and larger vehicles used to transport passengers.
Following the closure of this consultation, the results will be analysed, along with other sources of evidence, and if appropriate a statutory ban on older tyres will lead to the amendment of the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (SR 1999/454).
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