Court convictions in England and Wales for driving on defective tyres are at a four year high, according to figures obtained by TyreSafe from the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.
In 2010, 10,475 motorists were successfully convicted – almost 1,000 more than the previous year. The figures highlight the scale of the problem of illegal tyres in the UK, especially as they do not take into account tyre related matters dealt with by the police at the roadside.
“These latest figures are very worrying indeed and show that the courts take a very dim view of people driving on defective tyres,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
“We are aware that with recent financial pressures, many motorists are delaying the purchase of new tyres, however, as these latest figures show, some are waiting far too long and are risking their own safety and that of other roads users by going beyond the legal minimum standards.
“It’s also shows that the authorities are taking a robust stance against motorists prepared to flout the law, which goes to show that if you drive on illegal tyres, then be prepared to pay the price.”
Current UK law requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
However, it’s not all bad news as free tyre safety checks are being offered by many garages and tyre retailers as part of tyre safety month this October. By visiting a participating garage or tyre dealer, drivers will receive a thorough visual tyre inspection to ensure that not only are they safe to use, but legal as well so they will not fall foul of the law.
Additionally, TyreSafe has developed a host of tyre safety advice and maintenance tips, including an online animation, showing drivers how they can check their tyres are safe and legal in a quick and easy manner. The animation covers three key areas – Air pressure, Condition, and Tread depth (ACT).
For more information about tyre safety or tyre safety month, visit www.tyresafe.org.