Sell an unsafe used tire, get fined. That's the gist of the bill the New Jersey Legislature sent to Gov. Chris Christie on July 5, 2017.

A 3896, introduced by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-Paterson) would impose a fine on a business that sells a tire that exhibits any one of several unsafe conditions such as worn-out tread, visible damage or improper repairs. 

The bill is supported by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), the Tire Industry Association and the New Jersey Gas Station-C-Store-Automotive Association (NJGCA).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. NHTSA crash statistics indicate about 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries are attributed to tire-related causes annually. 

According to USTMA research, more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. The legislation does not ban all used tire sales. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.

“This legislation will help prevent high-risk, used tires from jeopardizing safety on New Jersey roads,” says Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA CEO and president.

The USTMA says 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. 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.

“We urge Gov. Christie to sign this important consumer protection legislation,” Luke says. “We are very appreciative of Assemblywoman Sumter and Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) for their leadership and persistence advance this measure through the Legislature to the governor’s desk.”

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