Saturday, October 08, 2016

Steam roller driver prevented from taking driving test because his vehicle had wrong type of tyres

A steam roller driver says he has been prevented from taking his driving test because his vehicle had the wrong type of tyres. Neil Urquhart booked a test in his 10-tonne roller in Redditch, Worcestershire, for Thursday. He says he was called by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) the night before and told he needed rubber tyres.

His vehicle has a metal roller, which he was told is not operable on a public highway. A spokesman for the DVSA apologised for the inconvenience, and said it would contact Mr Urquhart to rearrange the test and refund the fee. Mr Urquhart said he was baffled when he was told he would need specialist rubber tyres fitted before he could take the test.

"It's kind of absurd, because how could any road roller work it if only had rubber tyres? It wouldn't flatten the ground properly," he said. "They seem to have come up with a new rule which myself and the National Traction Engine Trust [NTET] are certainly not aware of, and so we're asking them to find this UK legislation and put it to us, because this kind of means that everyone who has a vehicle of this nature can't operate it on the road."

David Smith, head of technical services at the NTET, said there was no legal requirement for rollers to have rubberised tyres, and said other steam roller owners were "aghast" at the "bizarre" decision. "It's a mystery, bluntly," he said. "It's not done Nigel any good, because he took a day off work, and to be rung up just before and hear the test is off is disappointing. The human side of it isn't right, and the technical side of it, the legal side, is also not right. They've got it completely wrong."


Miss Cellania said...

The news story doesn't really give us much information. Was he taking a test for a normal driver's license? Then the tire requirement would make sense, and it's only a weird story because he brought a steamroller to a driver's test.

But if he was taking a specialized test for heavy equipment, then the requirement is weird. You'd think that specialized heavy equipment tests would be given by professional heavy equipment operators who know these things.

arbroath said...

I completely agree with you that the information is vague, Miss C.

Unfortunately this BBC link is the only source I could find for the story, so I wasn't able to discover any more detail.