By Denna Bowman
Tyre Safety Month is being launched with the help of two seven-year-old children who star in a short film aimed at highlighting the urgent need for motorists to make sure their tyres are properly inflated.
The annual tyres safety campaign will be launched on Friday 1st October and ‘mini-mechanics’ are onside to demonstrate how it is so simple to check that tyres are safe and legal that ‘even an adult can do it!’.
The pair appear in a short online movie urging motorists to carry out the 20p coin test, where they show drivers just how simple and easy it is to check their tyre tread depth.
Their plea comes just days after the Department for Transport published its latest road casualty report which reported that more than 200 people were killed or seriously injured (KSI) in the UK in 2009 as a result of an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Checking that your car’s tyres have adequate tread depth is extremely simple and easy.
“As our two ‘mechanics’ demonstrate in the campaign movie, you don’t need any specialist tools or knowledge. A simple 20p coin and a few minutes is all it takes. With such potentially devastating and life-changing consequences, drivers should ask themselves if they can afford not to take the test?”
To take the 20p test drivers need to simply insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of their car’s tyres. If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, this indicates sufficient tread depth to be safe and legal. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, it is likely the tyre may be illegal.
Adequate tread depth is critical to road safety, particularly in wet conditions as the tread grooves help to remove water from the road surface. Without sufficient tread depth drivers may suffer from a loss of grip or traction leading to longer stopping distances, reduced handling and an increased likelihood of aquaplaning.
Current UK law requires car tyres to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Drivers found to be in breach of these regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.