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New law on horsebox tyres: equestrians urged to check their vehicles

Horsebox owners are urged to check their tyres after new legislation came into force on 1 February.

Tyres aged over 10 years old are no longer permitted on the front steered axles of any vehicle weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, including privately owned horseboxes.

While the new legislation refers to “HGVs”, a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) spokesman confirmed to H&H that this means any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes.

This includes vehicles used for private use, meaning those not used under an operator’s licence must also comply with the new rules.

“This new landmark legislation will help to protect all road users against unsafe vehicles,” the spokesman told H&H.

“Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles, so we advise them to start checking the age of their tyres to ensure they’ll meet the new requirements.”

The manufacturer’s date code must be legible on all tyres on HGVs, as well as on trailers over 3.5 tonnes, and some other vehicles.

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The Countryside Alliance (CA) has urged horsebox and livestock carrier vehicle owners to check their tyres and ensure they comply.

“If tyres exceed the age limit it could come at considerable expense to vehicle owners with a dangerous fail at the annual test which means it can’t be driven away until the fault has been repaired,” said Polly Portwin, from the CA.

“It would also result in an immediate prohibition notice being issued if inspected at a DVSA enforcement check.

“We are highlighting this change in legislation in order to help ensure that our supporters are fully aware of the updated rules and can make sure their vehicles are compliant.”

Visit the Government website for the full explanatory memorandum, and the DVSA blog for more information on the changes.

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