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New Jersey passes bill on unsafe used tires

Pile of used tires.

Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation advocated by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires that pose a risk to New Jersey motorists.

Championed by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-Paterson) and Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), the new law imposes a fine on a business that sell tires that exhibit any one of several unsafe conditions such as worn-out tread, visible damage or improper repairs.

“New Jersey has taken a bold step to protect motorists from high-risk used tires that have no business being put back into service on New Jersey roads,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO.
“We applaud Assemblywoman Sumter and Senator Scutari for their leadership on this important issue and we are grateful to Gov. Christie for signing this legislation.”

In addition to USTMA, the national trade association for tire manufacturers, the Tire Industry Association and the New Jersey Gas Station-C-Store-Automotive Association (NJGCA) supported the legislation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. NHTSA crash statistics indicate that about 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries are attributed to tire-related causes annually.

USTMA research shows that more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. The legislation does not ban all used tire sales. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions

Tires worn to 1/16th of an inch are worn-out and are dangerous because they no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions. Tires with damage exposing steel belts or other internal components threaten a tire’s structural integrity. Improperly repaired tires can suffer loss of inflation pressure or have hidden damage that may contribute to tire failure. Tires with bulges indicate possible internal damage that can lead to tread separation.

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