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Police launch month long tyre safety campaign

Posted by StreetSafe on September 29, 2010

Cumbria Police are being joined by Eddie Stobart to launch a month long campaign urging drivers to check their tyres are safe and legal.

Sadly each year, dozens of people are killed and hundreds are seriously injured across the UK as a result of collisions caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres. Just last year Cumbria saw the tragic death of two teenagers in a crash on the A69 near Carlisle. Collision Investigators found that the car they were in had lost grip of the road due to two worn rear tyres which slid on standing water causing them to lose control and move into the path of an HGV.

In order to help prevent this kind of tragedy in the future Cumbria Constabulary will be promoting the simple steps motorists can take to keep themselves and others safe on the roads throughout October. Officers will also be on the look out for motorists driving on illegal or dangerous tyres as they hold planned enforcement operations across the county.

PC Shaun McKeown, a Forensic Vehicle Examiner with Cumbria Constabulary’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Serious collisions as a result of worn, dangerous or illegal tyres are devastating for the families involved and we have launched a month long campaign to urge drivers to do all they can to prevent them. We will be out and about conducting enforcement operations around Cumbria and educating drivers about the risks. Motorists found to be driving on illegal tyres face a maximum penalty of three penalty points per tyre and a fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.

“It’s such an easy thing to do a visible check on your tyres as a matter of routine, maybe when you’re washing the car on a Sunday morning. For example, you can use the TyreSafe 20p test to check the tread depth. If you’re not confident in checking them yourself or have any concerns, most garages will inspect the tyres for free.”

This year Eddie Stobart has thrown its weight behind the campaign by launching a new special edition branded white truck (pictured in attached) encouraging all drivers to check their tyres. The truck will travel around the county spreading the Tyresafe message to help more Cumbrian motorists stay safe.

Stobart Group chief operating officer William Stobart said: “We are delighted to be able to lend our support to the TyreSafe campaign. Stobart Group takes road safety very seriously and it’s great that we can help get the message across to motorists using this unique branded trailer. Considering the miles that we cover each day, I’m sure it will get noticed by many people across Cumbria and throughout the UK.”

PC McKeown added: “The simple fact is that it is not an excuse to say you hadn’t realised your tyres were unsafe – as a responsible road user you need to find out before it’s too late and it’s actually very quick and easy to do.

“We have to deal with the horrific aftermath of collisions on a daily basis and defective or unsafe tyres can often be a contributing factor. We hope that this campaign will get people to stop and think about their vehicles, provide them with the information they need to check their own tyres and hopefully, when they go home they’ll take the time to examine their tyres which may save lives in the future.

“As the nights get darker and the weather wetter, I can guarantee there will be many more drivers who will lose control as a result of driving around on worn or damaged tyres – don’t let you or your loved one be one of them – check your tyres now.”

Top Tips for checking your tyres:
• Check your tyre pressure at least once a month.
• Tyre pressure should be checked against the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level. This can be found in the vehicle handbook and on a plate which is often located inside the fuel filler flap or on the driver’s door sill.
• Check the pressure when tyres are cold (i.e. when you have travelled less than two miles).
• If you are carrying a full load of passengers or luggage or will be towing a trailer or caravan, tyre pressures should be increased in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Details can be found in the handbook.
• Ensure a reliable and accurate pressure gauge is used.
• Check the pressure in all four tyres not forgetting to check the spare tyre as well.
• While checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a visual inspection. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread. Look out for any bulges, lumps or cuts.
• If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition take your vehicle to an approved fitting centre and speak to the experts.

Cumbria police are working in connection with ‘Tyresafe’ a non–profit commercial organisation to raise as much awareness for the campaign as possible.

The Cumbria Constabulary website ( has been updated with information, videos and links to ‘Tyresafe’ so that people can learn how to spot an illegal or dangerous tyre themselves. Visitors to the site can learn how to check their tyres using a twenty pence piece ‘a life saver in your pocket’– a task that takes only seconds. To view the leaflet, please click on the following
Tyresafe 20p check guide – Cumbria Police


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