Theresa Griffin calls on Commission to take further action on road safety
Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Theresa Griffin, Labour MEP for the North West of England, has called the Commission to take further action on the issue of tyre safety at the European level.
Her call follows the introduction of a bill in Westminster, to strengthen tyre laws after three people were killed in a coach crash in September 2012 caused by the blowout of a 19-year old tyre.
The Bill, introduced by Walton MP Steve Rotheram, is being heard today for a second reading in the House of Commons. If agreed it would make it an offence to operate a public service vehicle with tyres that are 10 or more years old.
Theresa Griffin said:
“Unfortunately, at European level, there is no mention of the lifespan of tyres, despite the issue of road safety being so important across the twenty-eight Member States.
In 2013, according to the European Commission, around 13,000 people were killed in car accidents, including 1,700 in the UK.
Ms Griffin added:
“We strongly need harmonisation of tyre legislation across European Member States. Tyres lifespan is a very important one that needs to be resolved in order to prevent further tragedies from occurring on our roads.
“Currently, under the EU legislation in force, Member States can establish requirements in national legislation to verify tyre ages for vehicles during the annual vehicle checks.
“However the quality of annual vehicle checks varies among Member States regarding the issue of the acceptable level of a tyre’s lifespan.
“For this reason, I have called on the Commission to set up a working group to look at the best practices around the European Union on tyres lifespan and annual vehicle checks.
“Furthermore, strengthening citizen’s information on tyres lifespan is a necessity and I have asked the Commission to do so by improving the legislation on the European Tyre Labelling Scheme”.