TyreSafe issues graphic tread depth reminder

An idiot’s racing slick – an independent dealer recently removed this tyre from a customer’s car

TyreSafe has circulated an image that highlights the lack of attention some drivers pay to their tyres. The safety organisation received a photo of a highly illegal and dangerous tyre from an independent tyre dealer, who removed it from a customer’s high BMW 3-Series, and has used it as a reminder of the importance of checking tread depth and tyre condition.

As can be seen from the accompanying photo, the tyre was so worn that none of its tread pattern remained, making it virtually useless in the wet. Furthermore, the wear was so great on one shoulder of the tyre that the integrity of the tyre’s carcass had been compromised, with potentially fatal high speed consequences.

“This particular tyre was an accident waiting to happen,” exclaimed TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson. “Adequate tread depth is essential all year round, but particularly important just now when we are experiencing so much rain and difficult driving conditions. Checking your tyre tread depth is very simple and only takes a few minutes. It really is something that all drivers should do at least once a month to stay safe and legal.”

In addition to reducing safety, driving on illegal tyres can be expensive. Current UK law requires car drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread on their tyres across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. Those found to be in breach of this law can face fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. Indeed, in 2012 more than 170 drivers per week were successfully prosecuted in court for driving on defective tyres.

TyreSafe encourages drivers to take the ‘20p test’ – insert a 20p coin into a tyre’s main grooves, and if the coin’s outer band is visible, the tread is probably too low and should be inspected. “Sadly, the bad weather shows no sign of subsiding at the moment so it’s particularly important that drivers ensure their tyres can cope in these terrible conditions,” added Jackson. “If you’re in any doubt then pop into your local tyre specialist who I’m sure would be delighted to check things for you.”

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