Government proposals to ban tyres over 10 years old from being used on trucks and trailers are “missing the mark” according to the RHA.

The proposals, which could come into force early next year, were prompted by rising concern at the dangers old tyres used on commercial vehicles pose to the travelling public.

A DfT consultation document, Banning Tyres Aged Ten Years or Older, points to two examples - a coach crash in 2012 in which three people died, caused by a 19-year-old tyre in 2012 and a crash  in 2017 in which five people died when a truck veered into oncoming traffic due to its 18 year old tyre failing.

The document sets out proposals for a ban on the use of tyres over ten years old on all trucks and their trailers, coaches and buses in the UK.

It also wants to ban the use any re-treaded tyre on steered axles and make it an offence to use a tyre where the date mark is not visible, which will require tyres to be outward facing when fitted to wheel rims.

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Responding to the consultation, the RHA said that whilst it supported a ban on tyres over ten years old on HGV steered axles, it does not support the proposal to ban tyres over ten years old on all trucks and trailers.

It calls the evidence presented to support the proposal  “questionable” on the grounds that it did not consider the maintenance and conditions of the tyres in the incidents used to back up the government’s case.

RHA also questions how the ban could be applied to non-UK lorries and trailers when in the UK. It points out that since operators have no control over the age of the tyres of foreign trailers collected at ports it would be unfair for them to face sanctions.

RHA also opposes the proposed ban on the use of retreaded tyres of any age on HGV steered axles.

It points to existing safety regulations which require all retreaded tyres supplied in the UK to be tested using the same speed and load criteria used for new tyres.

It also quotes the DfT’s consultation document which states that there is no evidence that retreaded tyres made to existing UK safety standards are not as safe as first life tyres.

“Therefore, given there is no evidence of a safety issue with retreaded tyres when used properly – there should be no restriction on the use of retreaded tyres,” it argues.

In conclusion the RHA said: “The proposals put in place regulatory restrictions that are not justified by the evidence provided by the DfT”, adding that “throughout the consultation and the impact assessment the most serious problem relating to tyre use has been ignored –namely the condition of the tyre and how it is looked after and maintained.”