CUMBRIA Police will launch a month long campaign next week, urging drivers to check their tyres to ensure they are safe and legal before the winter weather sets in.

Every 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.

By simply using a 20p piece, however, everyone can check the tread on their tyres and potentially prevent another tragedy.

To help promote this simple message, October has been designated as Tyre Safety Month, when police officers will be encouraging people to check their tyres, and will be on the look out for motorists driving on illegal or dangerous tyres during stop-checks across the county.

PC Shaun McKeown, a Forensic Vehicle Examiner with Cumbria Constabulary’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Road safety is a priority for police in Cumbria and we are determined to prevent another tragedy by getting people to take a few minutes to check their tyres, and get them changed if they don’t meet the 20p tread test.

“All too often in Cumbria we hear about people’s lives being ruined by serious road traffic collisions, and this is even more devastating when we investigate them and it becomes apparent that it was caused by something as avoidable as a defective tyre.

“In a bid to prevent another tragedy, we will be out and about conducting stop checks across Cumbria to educate drivers about the risks.

"Motorists found to be driving on illegal tyres face a maximum penalty of three points per tyre on their license and a fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.

“It’s such an easy thing to check, and we should all look at our tyres as a matter of routine, maybe when you’re washing the car on a Sunday morning.

“We are really keen for parents to instill the importance of vehicle maintenance on their teenage children when they begin driving as well, and would ask people to spread the tyre safety message to family and friends. You never know – you might save a life.

“To check the tread on your tyres, use the 20p test. Simply insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your vehicle’s tyres.

"If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, this indicates sufficient tread depth to be safe and legal.

"If the outer rim of the coin is visible, or if you are not sure, have your tyres inspected by a qualified professional.”


How to take the 20p test