Tired tyres can be deadly, Council warns

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COLERAINE Borough Council in partnership with other council areas in Northern Ireland are participating in a province wide initiative to raise awareness of the associated dangers when using part worn tyres.

In a bid to assess whether part worn tyres within the Coleraine area are compliant with the legal requirements, it is proposed to conduct a ‘Test Purchase Exercise’ within the next few months.

Samples will be purchased and submitted to an approved testing facility for examination. In the event that safety breaches or non compliances are identified, Council will consider taking formal action against those found to flout the law.

Jackie Barr, Council’s head of Health and Built Environment, said: “Part worn tyres appear to offer consumers value for money however they can present a serious risk to drivers.

Screen sampling carried out within the Borough earlier this year highlighted that none of the tyres tested fully complied with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994.

“The main areas in which tyres were found to be lacking were in regard to markings, minimum tread and puncture repairs.

These results are similar to those found in surveys of the part worn tyre sector carried out in the UK. It is clear therefore that the sale of illegal part-worn tyres is a major problem which will require ongoing education and enforcement.”

Part worn tyres generally retail around £15 to £20 each, which is a considerably cheaper than new tyres. This apparent saving along with the current economic climate has resulted in a significant increase in sales, of part worn tyres across the province.

These tyres have previously been fitted to another vehicle and may have been subject to significant wear and tear, presenting possible danger to users.

Council officers have over recent months, been visiting retailers and suppliers of part worn tyres to assess the level of compliance with tyre safety regulations.

Part worn tyres must be marked “PART WORN” and must not have any of the following defects when fully inflated: Any cuts bigger than 25mm or 10% of the section width of the tyre measured on the outside and deep enough to reach the ply or the cord; any internal lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial separation of the structure; and any of the ply or cord exposed internally or externally or any penetration damage which has not been properly repaired.

Tyres must also have a minimum tread of 2mm across the full breadth of the rubber. When purchasing part worn tyres, consumers should always ask for the tyre to be fully inflated so that they can be checked for defects.

Checks should also be made for any signs of ageing such as splits and it is recommended to never purchase a part worn tyre which has had a puncture repair on the sidewall.

Any consumers with concerns or enquiries regarding part worn tyres should contact the Environmental Services Department of Coleraine Borough Council on 028 7034 7171 or email: eh@colerainebc.gov.uk

A consumer advice leaflet on buying part worn tyres can be found on Council’s website www.colerainebc.gov.uk