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Part-worn tyres putting motorists’ lives at risk, councils warn

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-05-18 00:01

Nearly half of part-worn tyres being sold in some areas are illegal, putting drivers’ lives at risk, councils have warned

Drivers are putting their lives at risk by buying part-worn tyres, with nearly half of the ones being sold in some areas not meeting legal standards, councils have warned.

Local authorities cracking down on rogue retailers have seen part-worn tyres being sold with serious defects, unsafe repairs and incorrect labelling, with some of the ones on sale turning out to be nearly 30 years old.

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The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, is urging drivers buying second-hand tyres to ensure that they’re in good condition and have the correct ‘part-worn’ marking, which identifies them as having been checked and meeting the legal requirements.

It is legal to buy and sell part-worn tyres in the UK, but they must not be damaged in any way and have at least 2mm of tread depth left on them. The legal limit for tyre tread on a car is 1.6mm, but motorists are generally advised to change their tyres when they reach 3mm.

According to the latest Government figures, 17 people were killed and 719 injured in reported accidents in the UK in 2017 in which illegal, defective or underinflated tyres were a contributing factor.

With more than five million part-worn tyres being sold in the UK every year, the LGA is also warning dodgy retailers that, if they’re found to be breaking the law, they could not only have their stock confiscated, but also face prosecution, resulting in a fine or even a prison sentence.

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Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Cheap used tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don’t have the correct legal markings, motorists could unknowingly buy illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident.”

Blackburn advised buyers to visit a reputable trader and look out for any cracks, tears or lumps.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous added: “We strongly advise drivers to check the tread and pressure of their tyres at least once a fortnight, and before any longer journey, to ensure they are in in tip-top condition. This will help to ensure their cars stay on the road and can stop quickly whenever needed.”

Do you think that part-worn tyres are putting drivers at risk? Let us know in the comments below…

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