Monday 23 September 2019

'Woeful' level of penalty points for low-tread tyres criticised

Used tyres
Used tyres
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

The "woeful" level of enforcement of some key tyre safety laws is being heavily criticised yet again.

It is claimed that in the two years since the new penalty-point regime for tyres came into force, there have been "extremely low levels of enforcement".

The claim is made by Continental Tyres in Ireland, which, it must be pointed out, can be accused of having a vested interest.

However, it has also consistently highlighted issues of safety across the board.

Based on latest analysis of penalty point notices issued for tyre-related offences since May 2016, it claims there should have been significantly more than 231 motorists penalised for driving with a tyre under the legal limit of 1.6mm.

Continental said its own studies show one in six vehicles is being driven with at least one tyre at, or below, the legal limit. Studies show that 1.6mm is the absolute bare minimum, and advocate 3mm for much better stopping distances.

The analysis was carried out as part of the group's Vision Zero initiative to reduce accidents.

Continental Tyres Ireland chief Tom Dennigan said the number of "dangerously low-tread depth" detections since May 2016 comes to an average of just 10 a month.

"By any standards that is a woeful level of enforcement of one of the main tyre-related penalty point offences.

"When you consider the number of illegal tyres our own studies have shown on Irish roads, you realise that the low level of enforcement of this key safety measure is truly worrying".

He said we can't put all the onus on the gardai as it is everyone's responsibility to make sure their vehicle is roadworthy.

While 1.6mm limit detections may be criticised for being low, official figures do show there were a substantial 1,476 penalised for having completely bald or damaged tyres.

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