The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) announced a new Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) offence for motorists who drive with defective or worn tyres on their vehicle. Although it is already an offence to drive a vehicle with defective or worn tyres, there will now be a fixed charge (or fine) of €80, with two penalty points endorsed on the licence on payment of the fixed charge for commission of the offence, or four penalty points following conviction in court. The new regulations take effect from Sunday, 17th April 2016.
Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said: ‘Following consultation with the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána, I have decided to extend the fixed charge notice system to vehicles with defective or worn tyres. This new measure is intended to promote greater awareness among motorists of the hazards of driving with tyres that are not in roadworthy condition.
“Since the penalty points system was introduced in 2002, there has been a dramatic fall in the numbers dying needlessly on our roads. The penalty points system has played an important role in reducing fatalities and improving road safety since that time. 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.
“Just this month, the Road Safety Authority reported that vehicle factors played a role in one in eight fatal collisions across the period 2008 to 2012. Defective tyres were the most significant factor, representing almost two thirds of all vehicle factors identified as contributing to a collision and to the deaths of 71 people on Irish roads in the past five years.
“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. In a bid to highlight how critical this issue is to road safety, I have expedited the work to bring the offence of defective and non-roadworthy tyres within the penalty point system. I am urging people to take preventative measures today by checking their vehicles regularly and ensuring they are up to standard and roadworthy. It may just save your life.”
Note to editor:
The RSA advises that motorists should have their tyres checked once a month by calling into a garage and having them looked at by an expert; most will do this free of charge. When buying tyres, drivers should make sure that they are right for the vehicle and the type of driving envisaged. Drivers should also make sure that the tyre has plenty of thread, and is above the legal limit of 1.6mm. The more thread you have, the greater the grip the vehicle has on the road, enhancing safety as on the road.