Dangerous and illegally sold part worn tyres will be one of the topics of conversation at this year’s national Trading Standards conference, after safety campaign group TyreSafe confirmed its participation in the event.
Running for three days from 30 June at the Harrogate International Centre, the event is the biggest gathering of trading standards officers and enforcement professionals in the UK. With its main theme of ‘changing behaviour’, TyreSafe sees the event as an ideal platform to continue its ongoing education and awareness activities designed to reduce the number of part worn tyres being illegally sold in the UK.
The latest research suggests that as many as 5.6 million part worn tyres have been sold in the UK each year since 2009. The ICM poll, which was commissioned by insurance firm Liverpool Victoria (otherwise known as LV) and published on 10 April found that 1.5 million motorists have bought “sub-standard second hand tyres” since 2009 and that a total of 23 million part worns have been sold in the UK since then.
Lawmakers in Nigeria are acting to ban the importation of ‘tokunbo’, or used tyres, into the country. A committee attached to Nigeria’s House of Representatives is said to be working on legislation that would prohibit the entry of tyres more than three years old – a move intended to ensure that tyres sold and used in Nigeria meet international standards.
Tokunbo tyres are typically sold with around 40 per cent of their original thread remaining. Initiator of the legislation, Ekperikpe Ekpo, noted that 80 per cent of road accidents were caused by burst tyres and not less than 60 per cent of vehicles, especially commercial vehicles, use either sub-standard or tokunbo tyres.
A ban upon the importation of used tyres is already mooted for Nigeria, and one of the country’s six regional governments has announced it plans to go one step further. The Gwagwalada Area Council Unit Command of Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission, said on October 13 it would prohibit the use of worn and second hand tyres, especially by commercial vehicles.
On making this decision public the unit commander, J.K Adamu, said seventy per cent of commercial vehicles plying Nigeria’s highways are still using second hand tyres. He added that the command has been making an effort in collaboration with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NUTRW) in various regions, explaining the dangers in the use of second hand and worn-out tyres by drivers.
Nigeria’s Customs and Excise Tariff Book for the period 2008–2012 has been presented. Amongst the many new measures being implemented in an effort to help the Africa nation’s economy is a ban on the importation of used tyres. However, in the opinion of many this measure may have come to late for the country’s domestic tyre industry.
Some unscrupulous dealers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have allegedly been running a tyre rental racket. According to the Gulf news report, drivers are able to hire tyres at a fraction of the cost of buying a new set in order to gain MOT-style certification. This deal is said to cost as little as 40 dirhams (around £5.90) to customers who use popular cars such as Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Local police have publicly condemned the trade and warned that those involved will be prosecuted. Gulf News reported that 20 per cent of road accidents in the region are attributed to faulty or badly maintained tyres.