Governor Greg Abbott of Texas is proposing legislation to prohibit the installation of unsafe used tires that pose a risk to Texas motorists.
The bill, HB 2774, introduced by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Orange), would penalize a business that installs a tire with any of the unsafe conditions identified under the state’s annual vehicle safety inspection law. Those conditions include tread depth of 1/16th inch or less; damage that exposes the tire body cords; bumps, bulges or knots that may indicate tread separation and other conditions.
The bill is supported by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, the national trade association for tire manufacturers, and AAA.
The National Highway 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 tires. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.
“The timing of the Legislature’s action couldn’t be better as next week is National Tire Safety Week,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “This legislation will help prevent crashes and contribute to a safer driving experience for Texas motorists.”
Tires worn to 1/16th of an inch are considered 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. Tires with bulges indicate possible internal damage that can lead to tread separation.
“We applaud Rep. Phelan’s leadership in advancing this important safety bill,” Luke said. “We also are thankful to Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) for leading the Senate effort. We will be working hard now to ensure that Gov. Abbott gives final approval.”