Secondhand tyre regulation needed, say road engineers

A group representing road engineering experts has expressed its “alarm and disappointment” that the Government has failed to regulate the secondhand tyre industry, warning that part-worn tyres can contribute to accidents.

The Society of Operations Engineers / Institute of Road Transport Engineers have repeated their call for legislation governing the sale of imported, used and part-worn tyres just days after the launch of a major campaign warning motorists about the need to maintain the tyres on their vehicles.

However, despite the joint campaign from the Department of Transport, gardaí, and Road Safety Authority, the SOC/IRTÉ say it has yet to receive any feedback on its suggestion that the sale of second-hand tyres should be regulated in the interest of public safety.

“While we were delighted to see the RSA report on tyres, we were very disappointed and alarmed that there was no mention of a position on the sale of imported, used and part-worn tyres,” said Donal Buckley of the Society of Operations Engineers.

The group first raised their concerns in August 2014, and sent their submission along with an article in the Irish Examiner on the issue to both the Department of Transport and Road Safety Authority for consideration.

Mr Buckley yesterday said that with the exception of a letter acknowledging receipt of their submission, they have yet to hear any more from either the Department or the RSA.

“From a road safety point of view this is very, very important,” he said.

Ian Ricken, a forensic collision engineer, said part-worn tyres are not necessarily the cause of every accident but can be a contributing factor for many. He said many people will opt to buy secondhand and part-worn tyres because of the price, and that while they may pass a visual test by an untrained eye, they could pose problems for motorists.

“Some people, not all, in the secondhand market buy tyres on a budget and not on quality,” he said.

“Our concern is road safety. We’re trying to reduce accidents and we believe legislation keeping an eye on the sale of second-hand tyres will make a difference.”

The Department of Transport said its consideration of the issue of the sale of second hand tyres will “address whether or not this is a matter for this department to regulate or whether it is more appropriate to being dealt with as a ‘consumer’ issue and regulated accordingly if deemed necessary.”


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