By Katherine Clarkson
Hundreds of motorists in Dubai and Sharjah have been caught renting tyres in a bid to avoid the cost of buying new ones to pass vehicle tests for renewal of registration.
More than 2,000 trucks and cars across the two emirates were found with unsafe tyres between April and June as part of a nationwide inspection campaign by the Ministry of Interior.
The motorists were found to be renting tyres for a fraction of the price of buying them just for two hours to get the vehicle through the test required for registration renewal.
The figure is even more alarming when considered against the Ministry of Interior statistics for 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 which show that 264 accidents were caused by tyre blowouts.
The accidents resulted in the deaths of 19 victims while 219 people suffered injuries.
Statistics show that during 2008 and the beginning of this year the number of automobile workshops and outlets found renting or selling invalid tyres in Sharjah was 389.
Inspections carried out during June revealed a large number of motorists were issued fines for using invalid tyres but had passed inspections a day to two or even hours before.
The motorists admitted they rented tyres from outlets in industrial areas to pass the tests.
Motorists who use old and invalid tyres will be hit with a fine and their vehicle will be impounded for a week.
Officials of both emirates are urging motorists to inspect their tyres regularly.