'Get A Grip' And Check Your Tires

Motorists across Ireland are encouraged to check their tyres this Road Safety Week, with free pressure checks and tread depth inspections on offer.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) teamed up for 'tyre safety day' on Wednesday 09 October, inviting motorists to call into any ITIA dealer for their free check.

Each month, around 8,500 vehicles are classified as being dangerously defective for tyre thread or tyre condition issues. As driving on dangerous or under-inflated tyres puts lives at risk, everyone is urged to visit an ITIA dealer this week rather than leave it until their next NCT.

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."

Some general tips on tyre maintenance:

• The minimum tread depth of your tyres is 1.6mm (1mm on a motorcycle). Replace with new tyres before you reach this level.

• The tyre pressure is in the owner's hand manual or fuel cap.

• Cuts, cracks, and sidewall damage or bulge are the dangers to look for on a tyre.

• Don't forget to check the spare tyre.

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan of National Roads Policing Bureau, An Garda Síochána, added: "Defective tyres are a serious risk to yourself as the driver and your passenger. Gardaí 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.

"Members of the Roads Policing Units across the country will be mounting road side checks in conjunction with Road Safety Authority Vehicle Inspectors checking tyres on cars, trucks and buses at the roadside on the 9 October 2019."

Anyone found to be driving a vehicle with defective tyres could face up to 4 penalty points if convicted and a fixed penalty of up to €120.

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