4 October 2013

Convictions for driving on faulty tyres

More than 170 motorists were convicted every week in 2012 for driving on defective tyres at magistrates' courts in England and Wales, writes Trish Whelan.

Some 10,228 car owners found themselves in court simply because their tyres were in a dangerous or defective condition, with 8,919 successful prosecutions taking place.

So Irish drivers should make sure that their tyres are in order before taking their car across the pond on business or pleasure.

The law here requires a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth (as is the law all over Europe) but experts recommend an even greater level of tread depth for maximum safety. Also, you should check and adjust tyre pressures against the car manufacturer's handbook. Tyre pressures are critical for maximum fuel efficiency and reducing C02 emissions.

Good tyres are the only things that stand between your car and catastrophe and so are of paramount importance. Regular checks take just a few minutes to complete and drivers should check them at least once a month looking for thread depth or any imperfections like uneven tyre wear, any cuts, bulges.

A recent survey of the state of tyres on cars on our roads by Continental Tyres in conjunction with fuel retailer, Maxol, showed that one in six cars surveyed were driving on dangerous and illegal tyres. They recommend the optimum time to replace tyres is when they reach 3mm.

Continental Tyres here have warned about the proliferation of 'secondhand tyre shops' and want regulation of these outlets as there are many secondhand tyres being fitted that aren't roadworthy.