By Denna Bowman
A safety investigation into part worn tyres being fitted in Nottinghamshire uncovered alarming results.
Trading Standards Officers from the County Council visited a number of tyres dealers as part of a countrywide operations during national Road Safety Week.
According to the officers all the part worn tyres they had fitted were deemed to illegal for one reason or another.
The operations, which was prompted by an increase in the number of serious accidents involving cars with faulty tyres and in the numbers of drivers buying part worn tyres, saw plain-clothed officers take single wheel rims into 10 separate tyre dealers and asked them to fit an inexpensive used tyre.
An examination of the tyres by a motor engineering expert found that one of the tyres had undergone a botched, temporary repair which was not up to British Standard, potentially making it unsafe.
Two further tyres fitted were not the correct size requested and would have failed a MOT test if fitted to a vehicle.
None of the tyres purchased met Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 because they failed to display the required ‘Part Worn’ marking. Two of the tyres had not been balanced.
This is the first operation of this type to take place in Nottinghamshire and follows a number of complaints from motorists about used tyres they had purchased and an increase in demand for them. Where required, the dealers will now be revisited by Trading Standards Officers before a decision is taken on what action, if any, is taken.
According to Trading Standards, in the first seven months of this year, 12 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents in Nottinghamshire involving vehicles where tyres were found to be illegal, defective or under-inflated. This is higher than in the whole of each of the last three years. Defective contributed to a total of 142 accidents, resulting in 231 casualties (70 killed or seriously injured) in Nottinghamshire since 2006.
Councillor Mick Murphy, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Unroadworthy tyres put the lives of the unsuspecting driver and other road users at risk and we are determined to stamp out their sale in Nottinghamshire…It is absolutely vital, especially as the weather starts to deteriorate, that motorists are driving on safe tyres.”