At a news conference at the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas today, Rubber Manufacturers Association president and CEO Donald B. Shea called recent passage of legislation dealing with auto tires "good news," and discussed the tire industry's future plans to further the cause of auto safety.

"Change that supports safety wins our support," said Shea in discussing the legislation. Commenting on the act's contents, Shea noted that the industry began petitioning the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) nearly two years ago to modernize tire safety standards, which the bill now requires. He also added that RMA and member company engineers and experts are already working with NHTSA to increase and improve the reporting of safety-related data to NHTSA, and to develop a methodology for reporting safety problems or recalls that occur in foreign countries.

Shea also announced that RMA's three-decades-long consumer education campaign on tire care will be significantly expanded. The new program, to be launched November 15 in Washington, D.C., "will be an aggressive and well- funded effort to give drivers the tire care and maintenance information they need and want." New RMA research, he added, showed that drivers want to be reminded of the responsibility to care for their tires, along with information on how to carry out that care.

Shea thanked the Tire Association of North America for providing RMA the forum for the news conference. He said he looked forward to working with tire dealers to communicate tire safety information. "Our country's tire dealers are on the front line of driving safety. We look forward to partnering with them in our safety campaign."

RMA is the primary national trade association for the finished rubber products industry in the United States. Comprising two divisions, the General Products Group and the Tire Group, RMA's member companies contribute upwards of $20 billion in finished rubber product shipments to the global economy. RMA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is recognized as the leading business advocate, resource and information clearinghouse for and about today's diversified rubber industry.

For more information, visit RMA's Web site at www.rma.org