RSA's safety day to kick off clampdown on dangerous tyres
About 8,500 vehicles a month are found to have dangerously defective tyres when they undergo testing, new figures reveal.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA), gardai and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) have today teamed up for a "tyre safety day" to remind road users to check their vehicles.
Gardai and RSA vehicle inspectors will be mounting roadside checks across the country on cars, trucks and buses.
Those convicted of driving a vehicle with defective tyres could face up to four penalty points and a fixed penalty of up to €120, according to gardai.
Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, said: "Your tyres are the only point of contact between your car, van, or SUV and the road, and yet their importance to a vehicle's safety and fuel economy is often overlooked.
"RSA research shows that there is no component in your vehicle that is as likely to contribute to a crash as your tyres.
"It was found that tyres were a contributory factor in an average of 14 roads deaths per year," Ms Murdock said.
Each month, 8,500 vehicles are classified as being dangerously defective for 'tyre tread' and 'tyre condition' across the NCT and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test (CVRT) testing systems.
"Driving on dangerous or under-inflated tyres puts your life and the lives of other road users at risk so don't wait until your NCT comes around to check the health of your tyres," she urged motorists.
Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan, of the National Roads Policing Bureau, said: "Defective tyres are a serious risk to yourself as the driver and your passenger.
"Gardai encounter many tragedies on Irish roads and have to deal with people who have suffered serious life-changing injuries.
"Many of these can be avoided if your vehicle is roadworthy and you drive within the speed limit.
"Have your tyres checked regularly, reduce your speed and together we can make the roads safer."
The minimum tread depth of tyres is 1.6mm, or 1mm on a motorcycle. Vehicles must be fitted with new tyres before they reach this level.
Motorists should check for tyre danger signs like cuts, cracks and sidewall damage or bulges. They are also urged not to forget to check the spare tyre.
This week, motorists can call in to any ITIA dealer for a free tyre pressure check and tread depth inspection.