The road safety message that defective or badly worn tyres are dangerous and could lead to an accident, is getting through to some UK motorists according to the latest research by the Tyre Industry Council (TIC).

While the number of defective tyres – those with a tread depth below 1.6mm – has remained largely static over the past 12 months, there has been a 3% improvement in the number of badly worn tyres – those below 2mm. Knowledge of the tyre law has also improved by almost 4%, although this has come from a low base. More company cars had at least one defective tyre than privately owned vehicles.

The research results issued by the TIC came from roadside tyre checks involving over 15,000 cars and vans arranged by UK police forces and supported by the TIC.

“We have always said that impacting on the final 10% of law breakers will be difficult,” said TIC secretary Peter Taylor. “We should take some comfort from the improvement in the number of badly worn tyres and the fact that more motorists know the legal minimum tread depth.”

Other key points from the TIC survey analysis include an improvement in the number of motorists knowing how many penalty points on conviction for a defective tyre (51%). The highest percentage of illegal tyres were on B, E and F registered vehicles; the incidence of illegal tyres on a vehicle as determined by sex of driver was 11.4% male and 12.4% female; 12% of company owned vehicles as against 11.6% of privately owned vehicles had a defective tyre.

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