‘Hit worn tyre drivers with fixed penalty’

The Government is being urged to introduce fixed penalties for motorists who are caught driving on illegal tyres.

At the moment the three-point penalty and fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre is not mandatory and has to follow a successful prosecution.

But Robin Shaw, the managing director of tyre manufacturer Bridgestone UK, says he believes following Ireland’s lead to introduce fixed penalties, similar to the ones faced by speeding drivers, would be more effective.

Mr Shaw says the move would encourage motorists to carry out regular checks and replace any defective or illegally worn tyres when necessary.

Mr Shaw believes there are ‘literally millions’ of illegal tyres being used on UK roads, putting people’s safety at risk.

He points out that the average stopping distance for tyres with a tread depth of 8mm is about 26m. For tyres with a tread depth of 1.6mm, though, it is around 38m, he adds.

A survey carried out last year by Highways England and the Tyresafe charity, suggested that one in four motorists were using an illegally worn tyre.

By law car tyres are required to have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around its entire circumference.