LONDON—The United Kingdom is banning tires aged 10 years and older from use on trucks and buses on roads in England, Scotland and Wales in an effort designed to boost road safety.
The ban, according to the Department for Transport, follows an extensive investigation that indicates aging tires suffer corrosion, which could cause them to fail as well as growing public sentiment for such a ban.
The legislation, which will take effect in the fall, applies to tires for the front wheels of commercial trucks, city buses and travel coaches, and all wheels of minibuses, except those with twin rear axles.
The date of manufacture of each tire must be clearly visible to ensure that older tires are easy to spot, the government's announcement stated.
Retreaded tires also will be covered by the regulation, with the date of re-treading to be marked, making the age of the tire clearly visible.
"Taking this step will give drivers across the country confidence their lorries, buses and coaches are truly fit for use—a safety boost for road users everywhere," said Baroness Vere of Norbiton, U.K. Roads Minister.
"Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles," she added. "This will also now include ensuring vehicle tires meet the new requirements."
The government also will be asking the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency to continue checking tire age as part of its routine roadside enforcement activities and adding an additional assessment to the annual test scheme.
The agency's announcement did not spell out the consequences for those found violating the law.
In announcing the ban, the government acknowledged the efforts of Frances Molloy, a resident of Liverpool, England, whose 18-year-old son Michael died along with two others in 2012 in a bus crash attributed in part to the failure of a 19-year-old tire fitted to the vehicle's axle.
Since the accident, Molloy has campaigned to see the law changed, creating a web site, tyred.org.uk, that became a clearinghouse for information on tire failures.