Tyre safety warning for motorists

Motorists have been warned that defective tyres can not only increase their risk of a road traffic accident but could also land them in court.

Safety campaigners cite worrying figures that show more than 10,000 car owners were prosecuted last year for driving on defective tyres.

Regular checks

The statistics, obtained from the Ministry of Justice, reveal that 10,228 motorists found themselves in magistrates’ courts last year over dangerous or defective tyres, with 8,919 convictions. That’s an average of 170 convictions per week, according to analysts at TyreSafe.

Chairman Stuart Jackson urged drivers to carry out regular checks at least once a month to make sure their tyres meet the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm.

Mr Jackson said: “These latest figures are incredibly worrying and reflect the ongoing challenge that we have in terms of raising the awareness about the importance of driving on safe and legal tyres.

“Regular checks which only take a few minutes to complete should be made at least once a month, yet it’s clear from these latest figures that many drivers are simply not taking these precautions, risking not only prosecution through the courts but more importantly, their safety on the road.”

Accident risk

Experts say it is particularly important for drivers to check their tyres this month as the risk of car crashes will increase on wet roads during the winter.

TyreSafe has developed a simple way to check tread depth using a 20p coin.

Drivers can insert the coin into the main grooves of their tyre and if the outer band of the 20p is still visible, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a specialist.

Drivers are also advised to check the general condition of their tyres, looking out for any cuts, lumps or bulges and making sure the tyres are inflated to the right pressure.

Mr Jackson added: “October’s tyre safety month is a great opportunity for every driver across the UK to ensure that not only are their tyres safe, but they are also legal, therefore avoiding any potential court appearance.”

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