Ohio’s Senate passed motorist safety legislation that prohibits the installation of unsafe used tires. U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) hailed the vote as an important consumer protection measure that will prevent crashes due to worn-out, damaged, or improperly repaired used tires.
“This is an important step toward reducing risk posed by unsafe used tires that too often find their way back into service,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “This is a common-sense, reasonable approach to address a serious highway safety issue.”
USTMA is leading a coalition to advance the bill, SB 223, sponsored by Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Hudson). Supporting organizations include all USTMA members, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Association of Manufacturers, Ohio Tire and Automotive Association, Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs, the Property Casualty Insurance Association and the Tire Industry Association.
“USTMA is grateful to Sen. LaRose for his tireless leadership on this important issue,” Luke said. “His perseverance has been crucial to advancing this bill. Additionally, we want to thank our fellow coalition members who have worked with us to educate Ohio lawmakers about this serious issue.”
USTMA research shows that more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. SB 223 does not ban all used tires. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.
Tires worn to 2/32nds of an inch are worn-out and dangerous because they no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions. Damage that exposes steel belts or other internal components threatens 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.
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.
A House committee approved a similar bill earlier this year. However, the Senate-approved measure now must be referred to the House where it will be assigned to a committee for consideration.
“We are confident that this legislation’s strong support will convince Ohio House leaders to quickly consider and move the bill through the process and then on to Gov. John Kasich’s desk,” Luke said.
New Jersey enacted a similar USTMA-advocated used tire bill into law this year.