Parents fail school tyre safety ‘test’
Motorists carry their most precious cargo when making the school run, but that’s no guarantee that the vehicles they use will be fit for duty. Time spent by Falken at Moorfield Primary School in Shropshire uncovered a high number of illegal tyres – eight out of the 25 parents’ cars checked were fitted with tyres that didn’t make the grade. The school car park check also identified one tyre with a nail in it and a further two had tyres over ten years old. In the interests of safety, Falken provided vouchers for free tyres and fitting to the first five owners with illegally worn or damaged tyres.
The school inspection underlines research undertaken by Falken’s UK distributor, Micheldever. It found over 56 per cent of the 8,900 tyres it removed last month had less than the legal requirement of 1.6mm tread depth. “The results today confirm what our dealers are saying. There are a significant proportion of cars running on illegal or dangerous tyres,” said Matt Smith, Falken’s UK director. “Tyres are a crucial element in road safety and for a number of reasons it is often a distress purchase, left until the last minute.”
Falken cites the current economic strain felt by families as a key factor why tyres are being kept in service with low tread levels; according to Micheldever, in pre-recession 2008 the number of illegal tyres it recorded was 15 per cent, over 40 less lower than today’s figure.
“We were surprised at the results,” said Mrs Su Plant, headmistress at Moorfield Primary School. “We regularly address road safety with the children, but it would seem that parents need more information about the importance of tyre safety. We thank Falken for its proactive attitude and for providing this service to the parents.”
Paula Holloway was one of the five to receive replacement tyres for her car. “I am extremely grateful to receive two tyres for my FIAT,” commented Paula. “Tyres are not something I think about, but today made me realise how important they are.”
Following the success of the event in Shropshire, Falken is planning to roll it out to other schools across the UK. “Based on our findings here in the Midlands, it would seem that there is much to do to educate the public about checking tread depth,” stated Smith.