ATS Euromaster has issued a stark reminder to motorists that driving with illegal tyres risks a £2,500 fine and three penalty points for each illegal tyre on their vehicle – or worse – a major accident.
The warning comes ahead of Tyre Safety Month in October, during which ATS Euromaster is offering free tyre safety inspections at any of its 370 centres throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
As the only part of a vehicle in direct contact with the road’s surface, ensuring tyres are regularly checked and in good condition is essential. In 2009 there were 860 reported accidents on British roads where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor, including 17 fatal incidents and 165 serious accidents.
Chris Hufflett, group operations director at ATS Euromaster, said: “If you drive a car or van then you must inspect the overall condition of your tyres, the tread depths and pressures at least once a month and before any long journey. If in any doubt, you can visit one of our centres and we’ll do it for free.”
The minimum legal tread depth for car and van tyres is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of the breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
Hufflett warned: “Drivers should remember that wet grip deteriorates more rapidly as the tread depth wears down, meaning stopping distances on wet roads can dramatically increase. With winter rapidly approaching it is advisable to consider replacing tyres before they reach the legal minimum, or to fit cold weather tyres and place your summer tyres into a tyre ‘hotel’ until next spring.”
ATS Euromaster’s vehicle inspection form requires tread depth readings to be taken in three places across each tyre. This ensures the most accurate measurements are recorded and helps technicians spot and rectify wheel alignment issues which will maximise tyre life.