Shropshire, July 24 2013. An evaluation at a Shropshire primary school found eight out of 25 parents’ cars checked were fitted with illegal tyres. The test, conducted by tyre manufacturer Falken, at Moorfield Primary School in Newport, Shropshire, underlines research undertaken by its UK distributor Micheldever. It found over 56 percent of 8,900 tyres it removed last month had less than the legal requirement of 1.6mm tread depth. The school car park check also identified one tyre with a nail in it and a further two had tyres over 10 years old. To improve the safety of children being transported to the school, Falken has provided vouchers for free tyres and fitting to the first five owners with illegally worn or damaged tyres.
“The results today confirm what our dealers are saying. There are a significant proportion of cars running on illegal or dangerous tyres,” says Matt Smith, Falken’s UK director. “Tyres are a crucial element in road safety and for a number of reasons it is often a distress purchase, left until the last minute.” Falken cites the current economic strain felt by families as a key factor, after its dealer Micheldever revealed that pre-recession, in 2008, the number of illegal tyres it recorded was 15 percent, over 40 percent lower than today’s figure.
“We were surprised at the results,” says Mrs Su Plant, headmistress at Moorfield Primary School. “We regularly address road safety with the children, but it would seem that parents need more information about the importance of tyre safety. We thank Falken for its proactive attitude and for providing this service to the parents.”
Paula Holloway was one of the five to receive replacement tyres for her car. “I am extremely grateful to receive two tyres for my FIAT,” says Paula. “Tyres are not something I think about but today made me realise how important they are.”
Following the success of the event in Shropshire, Falken is planning to roll it out to other schools across the UK. “Based on our findings here in the Midlands, it would seem that there is much to do to educate the public about checking tread depth,” adds Smith.
The legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the width of the tyre, though the tyre industry’s recommendation is to replace the tyre when 2mm remains.
About FALKEN Tyres Europe:
The technology and development of Falken High Performance Tyres and their driving characteristics have for many years been derived from motorsport, most recently its participation in the American Le Mans Series and Nürburgring 24 Hours. Tyre technologies developed on track are often transferred to the road, offering improvements in wet and dry grip, efficiency, feeling and control.
Falken is a brand of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Japan, with European headquarters near Frankfurt. In Europe, Falken has aggressively expanded its product range, launching new products in new sectors and niches across Europe. Falken’s current products range from the track-inspired Azenis series including the latest FK453 flagship through to the efficient and innovative ZE914 and the rugged all-terrain WildPeak A/T and cold weather HS449 and the new all-year round Euroall Season AS200 offering improved traction on dry, wet and even snowy roads without compromising on comfort.
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