THE Department of Transport’s new rules for motorists who drive with defective or worn car tyres have now come into force and it is to be hoped that they will help to save lives.
Tyres are a much bigger factor in fatal collisions than previously identified, according to an analysis carried out by the Road Safety Authority.
The RSA found that of the 1,077 people who lost their lives on the roads between 2008 and 2012 around 100 of them did so largely because of defective tyres.
Considering that grim statistic, it is not before time that efforts were made to strengthen the laws on defective or worn tyres.
Strangely, though, it appears that these new regulations have not identifed the sale of part-worn tyres in Ireland as a probable factor in fatal and other serious collisions.
The Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) has for years been calling for an outright ban on the sale and fitting of part-worn tyres.
While, as retailers of new tyres, they may be accused of pursuing self interest, nevertheless they have a serious point to make — that there is no place for such sales in a country with extensive safety laws in place for all sorts of activities.
Instead of putting the onus for compliance soley on the motorist, the sellers of second-hand tyres should also be targeted and their activities curtailed or eliminated altogether.
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