Indiana’s House of Representatives passed an important consumer protection and motorist safety legislation that prohibits tire and automotive service businesses from installing unsafe used tires on vehicles. The vote was 80-15.
U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), the measure’s chief supporter, hailed the vote.
“Indiana motorists are one step closer to safer travel on the roadways,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “This legislation is a common-sense approach to reduce the risk posed by worn-out, damaged, or improperly-repaired used tires.”
HB 1774 has bipartisan support, with Rep. Robert Morris (R-Fort Wayne), Chairman of the House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee as the sponsor and Reps. Doug Miller (R-Elkhart) and Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) as coauthors. HB 1774 defines an unsafe used tire as worn-out, has visible damage or improper repairs.
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.
USTMA research shows that more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. The Indiana legislation does not ban all used tires. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.
The Ohio Senate passed a similar unsafe used tire measure in December. An Ohio House of Representatives committee will consider that bill next week.
“Indiana legislators recognize that this is an important safety issue and we are deeply appreciative of their quick action,” Luke said. “We now look forward to using this momentum to work with the Indiana Senate to get this bill enacted.”
The tire manufacturing industry in Indiana generates $3.5 billion in economic output and supports more than 18,000 Indiana jobs including nearly 2,000 in manufacturing, according to a 2017 USTMA economic impact study.