The Association for tyre retailers, wholesalers and the associated auto-care aftermarket has divulged that at its regional meeting held in Templepatrick on 17th May, the results of the 2017 tyre tread depth on replacement survey showed that in one week in March, members had removed 1,200 tyres from cars and light commercial vans that were already below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm. This follows on from a similar survey carried out over a longer period in 2016, where more than 3000 tyres removed were already under 1.6mm.
The survey was conducted at 18 tyre retail centres across the country and the full results showed:
NTDA Chief Executive Stefan Hay said: “Yes the results of the survey are appalling, but they come as no great surprise. As we have said in the past, if the legal minimum is to remain at 1.6mm for the foreseeable future, then appropriate resources must be allocated to ensure effective enforcement is carried out. 1,200 illegal tyres and 1,519 which can’t even be sold as legal part worns, because they are under 2mm, found in one week is simply unacceptable, this cannot continue.”
Although tyres are legal at 1.6mm, the NTDA believes there remains an argument, sufficiently compelling, for it to advise motorists to change their tyres at 3mm and irrespective of recent comments from some tyre manufacturers is calling for a review of the minimum tread depth introduced in 1992.
Stefan Hay concluded: “Tyres are the only thing keeping a vehicle in contact with the road. Test results achieved under controlled test conditions are one thing, but driving in changeable and frequently adverse UK weather conditions, on poor and inconsistent road surfaces and with tyres of varying quality and condition is a different scenario altogether. We need tyre and auto-care professionals to educate their customers, for motorists to pay more and regular attention to their tyres and for the authorities to be more vigilant!”