x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Police put brakes on unsafe tyres

Thousands of vehicles confiscated for not meeting standards as used tyres are readily available for sale.

More than 2,500 light and heavy vehicles have been confiscated by Abu Dhabi Police in the last two weeks for not meeting tyre requirements. Col Hamad Adil al Shamsi, head of the traffic and patrols department, said that vehicles running on worn-out tyres put lives at risk. "Tyres blow-out is a major cause of sever-injury accidents - which would likely lead to death or a lasting harm," Col al Shamsi said. Last year, 13 people died and 16 others had severe injuries because of tyres blow-outs. In the same period, 82 accidents caused by tyre blow outs took place in Abu Dhabi city, making up three per cent of the total number of causes of accidents. This latest move by Abu Dhabi Police is part of a larger campaign to raise awareness, step up field inspections on used tyres and monitor tyre shops to ensure they comply with safety standards. "Tougher measures are essential to undermine this growing industry," the Ministry of Interior said. A vehicle that does not meet tyre safety standards would face one week of confiscation. A small vehicle would be fined Dh200 and a heavy vehicle would be fined Dh500 in addition to six black points. Many tyre sellers are not controlled by any monitoring authority and the sale of used tyres has become a common practice, Col al Shamsi told the state news agency WAM. Many of such tyres may have already become expired or are poorly manufactured at law standards, Col al Shamisi added. "If you leave tyres in the sun for a prolonged period of time, they begin to develop microscopic cracks and they become deformed which diminishes their integrity and roadworthiness," Hesham Romayaeh of Al Raly Electronic Wheel Balance said. "To the average person, the tyres may look fine and operate for a while but at any moment, they can blow out with tragic consequences." For those of limited income, purchasing a set of four new tyres is not an option when a single tire for a compact car from a reputable manufacturer can cost upwards of Dh250. "Many people prefer to buy used tyres as they are cheaper than the new ones," said Mr Romayaeh. "Those of limited income cannot afford to spend between Dh250 to Dh1,000 for a single new tyre when they can get four used tyres for less than the price of one. "Generally, the cheaper a used tire is the worse condition it will be in." Hhassan@thenational,ae ealghalib@thenational.ae