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Motorists face fine and penalty points for using bald tyres

Published 15/04/2016

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe is hoping to reduce road deaths
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe is hoping to reduce road deaths

Motorists will be fined 80 euro and hit with penalty points for using bald tyres.

The crackdown comes into effect on Sunday with two points for drivers who pay up immediately and four for those who are convicted at court.

Acting Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe fast-tracked the toughened laws around bald and defective tyres after research showed they were partly to blame for road accidents in which 71 people died over five years

" This new measure is intended to promote greater awareness among motorists of the hazards of driving with tyres that are not in roadworthy condition," he said.

In the Road Safety Authority's (RSA) analysis of 867 collisions it emerged that m ore than half of the tyres on the 66 vehicles with defective tyres were excessively or dangerously worn and 10.6% were under-inflated, some dangerously low.

Some 6% showed a combination of excessively worn, being under-inflated, the wrong size or fitted wrongly.

It is already an offence to use bald or defective tyres on a vehicle but the minister said penalty points have proven to play an important role in reducing road deaths since they were introduced in 2002.

"We need to keep up the pressure to reduce road deaths, and I am confident that the measure I am introducing today will make an important contribution to achieving that," he said.

Mr Donohoe added: "The RSA report also highlighted just how important it is that every aspect of a vehicle is in proper roadworthy condition.

"None of us can predict what will happen on our roads; we may encounter other drivers behaving poorly or adverse weather conditions. However, we can take personal responsibility for ensuring that our vehicle is properly maintained and be confident that our tyres can reliably respond to whatever conditions we may encounter."

Mr Donohoe urged people to check their vehicles and make sure they are roadworthy.

"It may just save your life," he said.

Other aspects of the RSA research on accidents found young drivers aged 17-24 were involved in almost half the fatal collisions which involved vehicles with defective, worn or over or under-inflated tyres.

Donegal had the biggest issue with tyre defects with 18% of motorists involved in accidents driving vehicles with defective tyres followed by Cork, Kerry and Wexford on 9% each.

The report on the causes of crashes also noted that losing control on a bend on a regional road and on a road surface that was dry at the time were typical scenarios.

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