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EC focus on tyre safety ahead of festive season

Home Government & Municipal EC focus on tyre safety ahead of festive season

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), in partnership with the Road Accident Fund (RAF), held a tyre safety workshop with law enforcement in Gqeberha recently.

The aim was to reinforce South Africa’s tyre laws and the SAPS, Metro Police and other law enforcement personnel were in attendance.

Following this workshop, a roadblock was held on the N2 near Seaview Road exit, Gqeberha to educate consumers about the tyre laws and perform free tyre checks ahead of the festive season.

“As the festive season approaches, we see a significant increase in road accidents each year,” said RAF spokesperson, William Maphutha. “Many of these could be avoided by ensuring one’s car is safe and roadworthy for travel.”

Nduduzo Chala, Managing Executive of the SATMC said: “Because tyres play a significant role in the safety of a vehicle, we’ve partnered with the RAF to educate and reinforce South Africa’s tyre laws by conducting these workshops and commuter educational roadblocks.”

The first workshop was held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Traffic College. The training was conducted by Lance Williams, Technical Manager at Continental Tyres, and covered three key elements of tyre safety which were used by law enforcement to educate motorists at a roadblock held the next day. They are:

  1. Ensure your tyre pressure is correct

“Your tyres should always be inflated to the level indicated on the inside of the driver’s door. If there is no sticker on the door, you can usually find the specs in the owner’s manual,” said Chala.

It is essential to check your tyres and know your recommended inflation levels so as not to overload your tyres.

Underinflated tyres may cause tyre failure because of movement in the tyre sidewall. Overinflated tyres may decrease traction on the road, giving you a bouncy ride and an ill-handling car.

  1. Check the tread depth

“More tread means more grip, especially in wet conditions. It’s as simple as that,” said Chala. “Tread depth plays an essential role in vehicle control and braking distances. It is important to check the tread depth across the entire width of the tyre as the outer tread may be deeper than the inner.”

The tread depth can be checked with a dedicated tread gauge or by using the built-in Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) on your tyres. The TWI is a small rubber insert set at 1.6mm in the grooves of your tyre. Look for a small arrow on the tyre’s sidewall with the letters’ TWI’ to indicate where they are situated. They show how much of the tyre has already rubbed off and if the tyre is worn out. The tyre must be replaced if the tread is at the same level as the TWI.

  1. Be careful of second-hand tyre

“More than 60 percent of second-hand tyres sold in South Africa are illegal,” Chala warned. “Second-hand tyres are a cheaper alternative when replacing your car’s tyres, but due diligence needs to be taken to ensure that these tyres are, in fact, still roadworthy and safe to drive.”

A second-hand tyre is not safe to use when:

  • The tread depth across any part of the tyre is level with the TWIs.
  • There is no TWI due to carving the rubber on tyres to create more tread depth (regrooving).
  • There is damaged rubber, including sidewall damage, bead damage and inner liner damage that exposes the fabric or cord.
  • There are cuts, lumps, or bulges.
  • You can see temporary solutions, such as tyre plugs, have been used.


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