On 1 May 2021 new tyre labelling rules take effect across Europe. Now, the Tyre Industry Federation (TIF – the umbrella body for UK tyre associations BTMA, ITMA and NTDA) has published details of its proactive response to the rules and specifically to their implementation in the post-Brexit environment. In short, cross-industry cooperation means the latest information will be available for the market from 1 May. The UK government Department for Transport (DfT) has welcomed the tyre industry’s approach to the implementation of the new tyre labelling regulations since the solution allows the continued flow of labelling information to consumers despite initial regulatory differences between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Less than two weeks before the new 10-year-old tyre ban takes effect and two weeks after DVSA updated its definition of the rules, the Department for Transport (DfT) has released new guidance on how to understand the legislation as well as a summary of the corresponding penalties.
Continental has once again released an overview of the European regulations regarding winter tyre equipment for trucks and buses. It also gives advice relating on who should be informed if you do breakdown.
On 7 August the government shared some results from its recent type approval consultation. That four-week consultation period came to an end on 26 June 2020 and sought views from across the automotive industry relating to what statutory instrument should supersede European type approval Regulation (EU) 2018/858, which covers new vehicle safety. The result? Low performing car tyres and van tyres will be illegal from 1 May 2021. The government type approval consultation supports 30-month grace period for running down such stocks. And OBD ports will remain open for independent garages to access repair and maintenance information.
Following reports at the end of June that the UK government is consulting on current and forthcoming tyre legislation, it is worth taking a closer look and clarifying exactly what rules are passing through the labyrinths of legislative bureaucracy. In short, there are three strands of UK tyre legislation on the table at the moment: minimum standards legislation; current tyre labelling legislation; and forthcoming tyre labelling legislation. Taken together they will likely bring with them the largely unannounced consequence of having both old and new tyre labels in the market at the same time, for a while at least.
The debate over how much tread depth is sufficient and recommendable has been going on for years. While some tyre makers and motoring groups support changing the legal minimum tread depth to 3mm as a move towards greater peace of mind, Michelin has been a vocal advocate of not only keeping 1.6mm the legal minimum but of actually using tyres right down to this tread depth. It is also one of a growing number of parties calling for legislation that informs consumers how tyres perform when worn. Earlier this month, Michelin shared the latest developments in the quest for ‘Long Lasting Performance’.
The government has published its future transport strategy. After highlighting mobility trends towards increased take-up of electric vehicles, increased amounts of vehicle connectivity and increased ecological consciousness, the strategy focuses on four “next steps”: Implementing a flexible regulatory framework, Supporting industry and local leaders, Ensuring government decision-making is robust; and continuing established technology-specific plans. In other words its about electric mobility, data connectivity and better environmental performance.
On 4 March 2019 the European Union adopted its negotiating position on the introduction of the next phase of its European Tyre Labelling legislation. In short, the EU is updating its rules in order to add information on snow and ice grip and raise the prominence of labels for consumers. At the same time there are plans to broaden the scope of tyre labelling to include wear/mileage performance once suitable testing methods have been found.
Following strenuous campaigning from the industry, Tyred and Frances Molloy in particular, the government announced on 26 February that it will consult on “options to ban older tyres from use on buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and mini-buses to help keep road users safe”. The Department for Transport explained that the proposed legislation will make it illegal for these vehicles to run with a tyre aged 10 years or over.
If the UK plans to leave the European Union without a deal covering driving licences, UK licence holders living in the EU or EEA will have to exchange their UK driving licence for a local EU driving licence before 29 March 2019. If they don’t, after that point they may have to pass a driving test in the EU country they live in in order to be able to carry on driving there.
This section is entitled “TPMS and sensor technology” for a reason. No longer are in-tyre sensors about measuring temperature alone. Now TPMS basically means pressure and temperature, often with the addition of algorithmically generated road feedback, load information and even wear calculations. These “big data” contributions are routinely relayed to the cloud for analysis. At the same time external tread readers are measuring similarly important data and sending that to the cloud. Put all this together and we have what Pirelli calls the “sensorisation” of the tyre business. Whatever we call it, this part of the business is now about far more than just sensing tyre pressures. And, as far as uptake is concerned, legislation and technical innovation are the key driving forces.
The subject of tyre and road wear particles (TRWP) was also broached at the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association’s (ETRMA) Board of Directors meeting. The Board stressed the importance of political debate – both on this issue and about the wider topic of sustainable mobility – adopting a strong scientific approach, based on facts and solid knowledge. Franco Annunziato, president of the ETRMA, called attention to the “value of having law-making, guided by robust science and based on evidences, as the only way to achieve the legislators’ targets.”
We’ve all heard of humourous laws, relics of bygone days – the fact that it is illegal for MPs to wear armour in parliament and for anyone to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances immediately spring to mind. But did you know that there are a fair few bizarre motoring laws in different countries around the world?