Authorities urge drivers to 'Get a Grip'

Motorists face up to four penalty points if convicted, and a fixed penalty of up to €120

Road authorities have teamed up to remind all road users to check their tyres to ensure they are roadworthy

An Garda Síochána, The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) have launched ‘Tyre Safety Day’, taking place today (Wednesday, October 6), as part of Irish Road Safety Week.

Chief Superintendent Mick Hennebry from the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said that defective tyres pose a “serious risk” to all road users, and that gardaí regularly deal with collisions in which people are killed or suffer serious life-changing injuries.

“Some of these collisions involve people driving with defective tyres. Such collisions can be avoided if you ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and you drive at a safe speed. Ensuring you have appropriate tyres on your car will make the roads safer for all road users.

Members of Roads Policing Units across the country will be mounting roadside checks, checking tyres on vehicles in conjunction with Road Safety Authority Vehicle Inspectors on Tyre Safety Day.

If a motorist is found to be driving a vehicle with defective tyres they could face up to four penalty points if convicted, and a fixed penalty of up to €120.

Sam Waide, chief executive of the RSA, said that based on an analysis of garda forensic road collision reports the organisation estimates that defective tyres could be a contributory factor in as many one in 10 fatal crashes annually, resulting in approximately 14 deaths each year.

“We are calling on motorists to ‘get a grip’ when it comes to tyre safety, don’t wait for your NCT to check if your tyres are roadworthy. Conduct a regular walk-around of your car and check your tyres.

"Check the tread depth, look for cuts, cracks, or bulges. Take your car to the local forecourt or ITIA dealer and check the pressure. If your vehicle’s tyres show signs of deterioration, you should have them replaced immediately.”

Welcoming ‘Tyre Safety Day’ Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton added that it is important that drivers take action to ensure the tyres on their vehicles are fit for purpose. This, she says, is especially important as the winter months approach and weather conditions worsen.

“Driving in wet or icy conditions can lead to loss of grip and increased risk of skidding, especially when driving on defective tyres. Motorists should keep tyre pressure at the manufacturer's recommended level and not let them get worn below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm for cars and 1mm for motorcycles.”

To date in 2021 a total of 108 lives have been lost on the road. This is down nine compared to the same date last year.