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Motorists urged to ‘get a grip’ and check their tyres

The Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA), have teamed up for ‘tyre safety day’ today, October 7, during Irish Road Safety Week, to remind all road users to check their tyres.

Motorists can this week call in to any ITIA dealer for a free tyre pressure check and tread depth inspection.

Sue O’Neill, CEO, of the Irish Tyre Industry Association, said: “Irish Tyre Industry Association members are experts in tyre health and can reassure drivers that their vehicle is safe on the road. By simply taking a few minutes out of your day, you can have your tyres checked and replaced if necessary.

“During Irish Road Safety Week, October 5 – 11, our members are offering free tyre checks so don’t wait until your NCT comes around to check the roadworthiness of your tyres, do it today. To find your nearest ITIA registered dealer nationwide, visit www.itia.ie.”

The minimum tread depth of tyres is 1.6mm (1mm on a motorcycle). Motorists are advised to replace their tyres before they reach this level.

The tyre pressure can be found in the owner’s hand manual or vehicle fuel cap. Cuts, cracks, and sidewall damage or bulge are the dangers to look for on a tyre. The spare tyre should also be checked.

Sam Waide, chief executive of the RSA, said: “There is no component on your vehicle more likely to contribute to a crash than your tyres. They are your only contact with the road and if they are not fit for purpose, everything else is secondary. Based on the analysis of road collision reports we estimate that defective tyres could be a contributory factor in as many as 14 deaths each year. But people don’t often think about their tyres – are they inflated correctly, are they below the minimum tread depth, are they damaged in any way?

“Each month 8,500 vehicles are classified as being dangerously defective for ‘Tyre Tread’ and ‘Tyre Condition’ across the NCT and CVRT testing systems. Don’t wait for your NCT to check if your tyres are roadworthy. Do a regular walk-around of your car and check your tyres – look for cuts, cracks, or bulges. If you are unsure or don’t know anything about tyres get them checked by a local ITIA-registered dealer regularly.”

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, National Roads Policing Bureau, An Garda Síochána, commented: “Defective tyres are a serious risk to all road users. Gardaí encounter many tragedies on Irish roads and have to deal with people who have suffered serious life changing injuries. Many of these can be avoided if your vehicle is roadworthy and you drive within the speed limit. Have your tyres checked regularly, reduce your speed and together we can make the roads safer.

“Members of the Roads Policing Units across the country will be mounting roadside checks in conjunction with Road Safety Authority Vehicle Inspectors checking tyres on vehicles at the roadside on Tyre Safety Day. If you are found to be driving a vehicle with defective tyres you could face up to four penalty points if convicted and a fixed penalty of up to €120.”