Tyre age campaigner moves closer to changing the law

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A Liverpool mother has taken an important step forward in her campaign to change the law on tyres after her son died in a road crash caused by the blowout of a 19-year-old tyre.

Frances Molloy

The new Tyres (Buses and Coaches) bill was presented to Frances Molloy, whose 18-year-old son was killed in the accident while travelling back home from Bestival in 2012, at the House of Commons earlier this week. It proposes the introduction of a ten-year age limit on tyres used by buses and coaches.

Mrs Molloy has campaigned for a change in the law after a coroner concluded that the only identifiable cause of the crash which caused her sons tragic loss of life, was the age of the tyre which blew, sending the coach crashing off into trees.

The second reading of the legislation, sponsored by Walton MP Steve Rotheram, will take place on February 27, and Mrs Molloy is urging people to ask their MPs to support it. If the second reading of the bill is successful, it will pass to the committee stage, where more detailed examination takes place.

Mrs Molloy wants the age of tyres to be recorded as part of MOT tests, and for vehicles with tyres older than 10 years to fail the test. This would involve DOT codes on tyres to be recorded during MOTs to prevent companies from saving new tyres to use during the test and changing them back to older ones afterwards.

There are no currently no laws governing the age tyres must be replaced on vehicles in the UK. However, motoring and safety organisations warn that tyres over five to seven years old are more susceptible to problems and may already be suffering damage not visible to the naked eye.

To find out how old tyres are, simply look for the DOT code, such as NOF JFAR 4712. The final set of four numbers are the date code. The first two numbers reveal the calendar week and the second two indicate the year of manufacturing – eg the 47th week of 2012.

A well as being aware of the age of the tyres fitted to a vehicle, etyres also recommends owners carry out regular checks to make sure the tread depth, pressure and condition of their tyres are safe and legal.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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