As tyre safety month gets into full swing, roadside checks conducted by Cumbria Constabulary last weekend (October 6/6) have highlighted the dangerous condition of tyres that some drivers continue to drive on.
One particularly frightening example was found on a car being driven by a young driver, who had worn the tyre beyond the legal limit, down to the carcass and even had parts of the metal casing poking out of it.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “This young driver was on his way to a party but the night could have turned out very differently if the tyre had suffered a major failure, a very real possibility given the state it was in. What’s more, it’s highly unlikely that this tyre would have been able to cope with any amount of water on road, meaning the car’s occupants and other road users could have been put at great risk.”
He said alarmingly, statistics just revealed by the Department for Transport have shown that the number of people killed or seriously injured in tyre related accident increased sharply in 2011 following many years of decline. Indeed, 205 people were killed or seriously injured in a tyre related accident during the year.
However, to raise the awareness about the importance of correct tyre maintenance, TyreSafe is running its annual tyre safety month campaign. This year, the central theme is ‘Time for a change?’ and highlights the need for drivers to make sure their tyres are safe and legal at a time when the weather normally takes a turn for the worse. Adequate tread depth is an essential element of this and to help drivers check their tyres, TyreSafe has launched a potentially life-saving pledge on its Facebook page - www.facebook.com/tyresafeuk.
Visitors to the site are asked to commit to taking ‘the 20p pledge’ meaning they agree to check their tyre tread depth using a 20p coin. After taking the pledge, their commitment is shared with their Facebook friends asking them to do similar.
“Correct tyre maintenance is the responsibility of all drivers, young and old, and our tyre safety month is the perfect reason to give your tyres a thorough inspection to check they are safe and legal.
“There really is no excuse for not spending just a few minutes looking at the tread depth, checking the air pressure and overall condition before heading out,” added Jackson.
Drivers failing to adhere to the UK’s minimum tread depth laws face fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
For more information about TyreSafe and tyre safety month, visit www.tyresafe.org.