By Denna Bowman
Court convictions for driving on defective tyres are at a four year high in England and Wales, according to the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.
The figures were obtained by TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyres safety organisation, and revealed during Tyre Safety Month which continues until the end of October.
The statistics confirmed that in 2010, 10,475 motorists were successfully convicted – almost 1,000 more than the previous year.
They also confirm the scale of the problem of illegal tyres in the UK, especially as they do not take into account tyre related matters dealt with by the police at the roadside.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “These latest figures are very worrying indeed and show that the courts take a very dim view of people driving on defective tyres.
“We are aware that with recent financial pressures, many motorists are delaying the purchase of new tyres, however, as these latest figures show, some are waiting far too long and are risking their own safety and that of other roads users by going beyond the legal minimum standards.”
Commenting on the court convictions he added: “It also shows that the authorities are taking a robust stance against motorists prepared to flout the law, which goes to show that if you drive on illegal tyres, then be prepared to pay the price.”
Current UK law requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.