Warwickshire Police officers check tyres during Tyre Safety month
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In the first week of Tyre Safety Month during October, officers found thirteen tyre related offences on vehicles they stopped and checked in operations across Warwickshire.
One driver received a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) for having a tyre so worn that cord was exposed on the tyre. Another driver received a TOR for having a crack in the side wall of a tyre.
Eight drivers received TORs for not having sufficient tread on their tyres – below 1.6mm. One of these drivers had three tyres below the legal limit.
A further three drivers received TORs for having under inflated tyres. One driver only had 7psi in his tyre so it was almost completely flat.
It could be an expensive trip for some drivers as each bald or defective tyre carries a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.
Even though the tread depth of 1.6mm is the legal minimum, it is recommended that you replace your tyres once the tread is below 3mm - this is because stopping distances increase dramatically for cars below this tread depth, particularly in the wet.
Research by the national charity Tyresafe.org has shown that a car with barely legal tyres needs a further 11.9 metres to stop from 50mph on wet roads than the same car with brand new tyres. That’s around three whole car lengths.
It wasn’t just tyres officers were checking. During the various checks one driver was found to have no insurance and the vehicle was seized. Penalties for driving with no insurance start at £300 and 6 penalty points, but if the case goes to court drivers could get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving as well as having your vehicle seized and destroyed.
Two drivers seen using their mobile phones whilst driving received TORs for this offence too (3 points and £100 fine).
Sergeant Shaun Bridle said “Tyres are the only part of your vehicle that are in contact with the road when you are driving. It is vital for your safety and the safety of other road users that your tyres are kept in a good condition and checked regularly for your vehicle to steer and brake effectively and stay on the road safely.
“Our results show that some drivers are still not aware of the potential danger and are willing to put their life, and the lives of others in danger by driving with tyres that are not legal. It is something that we will continue to deal with and check.
“We are reminding drivers to ACT now and check the Air pressure, Condition and Tread of their tyres at least once a month and always before long journeys.”
Details of how to check your tyres can be found here.