Illegal part-worn tyres clampdown highlights major road risk

2nd December 2011

A high percentage of second-hand part-worn tyres are being sold to drivers despite being illegal to use on UK roads, it has been revealed.

The discovery was made during a nationwide crackdown on dealers selling part-worn tyres during road safety week last week.

This campaign was introduced in the wake of an increase in the amount of accidents involving at least one car wearing faulty or part-worn tyres.

Under current rules, all tyres sold in the UK must adhere to the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations rules introduced in 1994.

Despite this, the nationwide crackdown highlighted the alarming regularity with which these often faulty tyres are sold.

In Nottingham alone, plain clothed trading standards officers visited ten separate tyre dealers and asked them to fit an inexpensive used tyre.

To their surprise they found that in each occasion, the part-worn tyre should not have passed garage testing and was in fact illegal to use.

Some of the tyres in question had undergone poor quality repairs, while others were the wrong size and could have resulted in a failed MOT test.

Nottinghamshire councillor Mick Murphy said: “Unroadworthy tyres put the lives of the unsuspecting driver and other road users at risk.

"It is absolutely vital, especially as the weather starts to deteriorate, that motorists are driving on safe tyres."

A similar crackdown by Birmingham City Council saw groups of ten part-worn tyres purchased from retailers across the city at random for close examination against industry guidelines.

Further scrutiny upon of the tyres led to the discovery that nine out of ten of the compounds failed to meet the legal standards for sale.

A lack of correct markings was a common problem, yet a startling 30 per cent were found to feature illegal tread depth and inadequate markings with one tyre used 17 years ago.

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