School run safety shockParents are being urged to get their car tyres checked during the summer break after a spotcheck outside a Shropshire primary school found more than 30% of school run cars were running on illegal tyres.

Road safety organisation TyreSafe is behind the tyre check drive and chairman Stuart Jackson said tyre checks “only takes a couple of moments but could make the world of difference to the safety of you and your children”.

The school run is tough on car tyres, particularly with challenges like repeated kerb strikes. Add the fact school run motors may be used less frequently than other cars in the household – particularly over the summer – and the TyreSafe rallying call becomes vital, said Jackson.

“It’s essential that the tyres are checked to ensure that they are roadworthy and legal so that the precious load is transported in a safe manner.”

The not-for-profit road safety organisation advises three quick tyre checks:

  • Check pressures match recommended settings found in the handbook, inside the fuel filler flap or in the driver’s door sill
  • Make sure there is at least 1.6mm tread depth around the middle three quarters of the tyre
  • Check the general condition of the tyre for lumps, cuts, bulges and objects embedded within the tread

Drivers running on illegal tyres face a £2500 fine and three penalty points on their licence – and that’s for each illegal tyre on the car (drive with four dodgy tyres and you could lose your licence and be £10,000 out of pocket). Department for Transport figures show illegal tyres cause 1200 road casualties a year.

More than 11 million school run trips are made every day, says road charity Sustrans. The threat of more than 3 million of them running on illegal or unsafe tyres has led TyreSafe to issue its rallying call – particularly as it is a supporter of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which is aiming to save lives by making roads safer.

Better tyre safety, it argues, is one of the quickest and easiest safety improvements all motorists can make.