TyreSafe Releases Video to Illustrate Tyre Test Simplicity
With October’s Tyre Safety Month of October upon us, the organisation behind the initiative, TyreSafe has released a campaign video stressing the simplicity of testing the suitability of tyres. The video, posted on YouTube and embedded in the page below, features 7 year-old faux-mechanics Kyanne and Finlay showing drivers how simple it is to check their tyre tread depth with a 20p coin. The organisation also states that Department for Transport figures published in its latest road casualty report show that more than 200 people were killed or seriously injured (KSI) in the UK in 2009 as a result of an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
“Checking that your car’s tyres have adequate tread depth is extremely simple and easy,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “As our two ‘mechanics’ demonstrate in the campaign movie, you don’t need any specialist tools or knowledge. A simple 20p coin and a few minutes is all it takes. With such potentially devastating and life-changing consequences, drivers should ask themselves if they can afford not to take the test?”
The 20p test was introduced last year by TyreSafe; as a solution that allows tyre checks to be performed using such a commonplace object, it seems appropriate that it should remain at the heart of the organisation’s publicity for this year’s campaign. To take the 20p test drivers simply insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of their car’s tyres. If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, this indicates sufficient tread depth to be safe and legal. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, drivers should have their tyres inspected by a qualified professional.
Driving on illegal tyres remains a significant problem in the UK. Figures obtained by TyreSafe through a Freedom of Information request, show that in 2009/10, 2.3 million vehicles failed their annual MOT test where ‘tyres’ was one of the reasons for referral. Insufficient tread depth was a significant part of this, with 1.6 million MOT tests failed because the car’s tyres did not meet the 1.6mm requirements. Additionally, the number of drivers successfully prosecuted by courts in England and Wales during 2008 for driving on defective tyres rose by 14 percent to more than 4,300 convictions.
“Drivers really should sit up and take note of Kyanne and Finlay’s sound tyre safety advice,” continues Jackson. “Every single driver whose car failed its MOT because of illegal tyres can count themselves fortunate that they did not become another unnecessary KSI statistic. Taking the 20p test just once a month will take drivers just a few minutes and will help reduce MOT failure rates, but more importantly help to keep even more drivers safe and legal on the road.”
As tyrepress.com readers will know, adequate tread depth is critical to road safety, particularly in wet conditions as the tread grooves help to remove water from the road surface. Without sufficient tread depth drivers may suffer from a loss of grip or traction leading to longer stopping distances, reduced handling and an increased likelihood of aquaplaning. Current UK law requires car tyres to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Drivers found to be in breach of these regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
In addition to the online video, hundreds of garages and tyre retailers across the country will be offering free tyre safety checks. To find out more about tyre safety, visit www.tyresafe.org.