NI 45 - UK motorists fined up to £27m last year for driving with dangerously worn tyres. Beworn, sorry, Beware!
Post date: 11-Feb-2017 17:26:47
Tyres are arguably the most important component of any car as they're the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road but many motorists are overlooking the significance of their rubber by continuing to drive on them when they've deteriorated to illegal levels. According to new research, 10,766 Britons were handed endorsements for being caught with defective tyres fitted to their car in 2016. With a maximum fine of £2,500 for each balding tyre, motorists are risking having to pay £27 million a year for this simple maintenance check.
The study by Confused.com found that 2.5 million cars failed an MOT in the previous 12 months for driving with bald or defective rubber. That accounted for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of all MOTs failed in the country. But the issue becomes more costly if you're found to be driving with dangerous rubber before the MOT test comes around. Not to mention the fact that driving with too little tread is highly dangerous and could lead to serious injury or death in a crash.
According to an freedom of information request submitted by the comparison site, almost 9,000 drivers were handed penalty points for the offence last year alone. Motorists need to ask themselves if it’s really worth risking three points on their license and enormous fines of up to £2,500 per tyre. Listed as a 'CU30' offence, being caught with defective tyres is an automatic three-points on your licence. A driver can be forced to pay a fine of up to £2,500 for each balding tyre - amounting to £10,000 if you're driving with to-the-carcass rubber on all four corners.
Those motorists who were issued fines by the police had to shell out an average of £2,700, suggesting motorists are being caught with more than one illegally deteriorated tyre each time.
WHEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY TYRES?
If the tread depth of the tyre is less than 1.6mm, then you need to buy a replacement.
A punctured tyre can be repaired, but a drivers should replace it if is punctured again, even if in a different area to the first.
Tyres can be deemed defective if they've deteriorated due to age - exposure to heat, sunlight and rain can damage the rubber over time, making it hard and less grippy, even if there is more than 1.6mm of treat across the entire surface area. Check for signs of cracking on sidewalls of tyres that are four or five years old.
Further evidence that it's not a case of just one balded tyre is that the average number of penalties issued last year during these instances was six - with potentially other tyres and car defects contributing.
A whopping 38 per cent of those caught said the additional points for dodgy tyres were enough to see them being disqualified from diving.
More than a third of motorists admit they are totally unaware of the dangers, with 35 per cent admitting they only knew their tyres had surpassed the minimum 1.6mm of tread depth allowed by law when it was pointed out during a service or MOT.
Of the 2,000 UK adults polled by Confused.com, another 28 per cent said a friend or relative informed them that their tyres needed to be replaced.
The comparison firm said the issue may only get worse with the Department for Transport currently weighing up an extension to the MOT period for new cars from three to four years.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: 'We understand that arranging to have your tyres changed seems like a hassle, and we know some drivers are concerned about how big a hole it’s going to burn in their pockets. 'But motorists need to ask themselves if it’s really worth risking three points on their license and enormous fines of up to £2,500 per tyre.'