November 30, 2009


There are far too many accidents and fatalities (34 in 2008 alone) in the U.K. that occur as a result of illegal or unsafe tyres. Research has found that more than half of all motorists could not correctly identify the legal tread depth. ‘The lifesaver in your pocket’ campaign aims to get hundreds of motorists to check their tread depth in a simple and easy way, which will keep them safe and avoid any repercussions.

The Current law states that tyre tread on cars must be at a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread, around its entire circumference. Any motorist found to be in breach of this can be fined up to £2500 and given 3 points for every illegal tyre.

Tyres are the only part of the car that comes in contact with the road surface therefore its essential that they are in proper working condition. Cars without sufficient depth are liable to aquaplaning on water on road surfaces and stopping distances are likely to be longer. 

Drivers are encouraged to insert a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyres and if the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by specialists.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “The 20 pence piece provides a useful guide but is not always accurate; therefore it is always advisable to use a calibrated tread depth gauge if one is available.”

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