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Tune into tyre safety

This October is national tyre safety month. During the month-long campaign, organised by TyreSafe, motorists will be encouraged to 'Tune into tyre safety!'

The importance of maintaining and replacing your tyres is being highlighted throughout the whole of October with the focus on encouraging road users to check their tyres once a week for correct pressure, condition and tread.

TyreSafe surveys have revealed one in five drivers has never checked their tyres and also showed the West Midlands area to be the fourth worst performing region in the country in terms of faulty tyres. Of the 36,684 tyres inspected over a quarter (26.9%) were already under 1.6mm when the owner finally bought new ones, contributing significantly to the 10 million dangerous and illegal tyres on Britain's roads every year. The survey also revealed over three quarters (76.7%) of tyres surveyed were below 2mm when replaced, leaving a maximum of 0.4mm of tread left before being illegal, which is just half the thickness of a bank card.

Drivers are reminded the minimum legal limit for tread depth is 1.6mm with a potential £2500 maximum fine and three-penalty points applicable to each tyre found to be below that limit or in an unroadworthy condition. A tread depth gauge or even 20-pence piece can be used to how close a tyre is to that limit. When using a 20p, simply insert the coin into the main grooves across the tyre's centre and at numerous points around its circumference and check to see if the border of the coin is visible. If it is, you may be close to the legal limit and should have the tyre properly measured by a professional.

Superintendent Paul Moxley for West Mercia Police commenting on the campaign says;
"This national campaign highlights the importance of maintaining our tyres and the essential checks we should all be undertaking on a routine basis. We welcome the advice this campaign delivers and will be backing this up with a number of operational activities."

West Mercia Police are advising all drivers/riders to spend some time checking the general condition of their tyres. Tyres should be free of lumps, bumps or bulges and without any signs of cracking. Tyre pressures ensure the vehicle brakes, steers and accelerates as the vehicle manufacturer intended. Under or over-inflated tyres can actually increase motoring costs by reducing fuel economy and increasing tyre wear in addition to the considerable safety risk they represent. Drivers who are found with illegal tyres can be issued with a fine of up to £2,500 fine and three penalty points, and more importantly could increase their chance of being involved in a collision.

For more information on tyre safety and how to carry out maintenance checks, visit