First Texas, now Florida considers used tire bill

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Legislation "to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires that are readily available and pose a significant risk to motorists" is advancing in the Florida Legislature.

SB 1588 is supported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which says that businesses should not be permitted to offer tires that are worn out, damaged or exhibit other unsafe conditions.

Another Florida bill, HB 485, was recently amended, and it now conforms to SB 1588. Each bill has been passed unanimously by a committee in its respective chamber.

“If enacted, this legislation will help improve highway and motorist safety in Florida by addressing the sale of unsafe used tires,” says Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Safety is the highest priority for the tire industry, and we support this legislation.”

To demonstrate the problem and availability of unsafe used tires, RMA and its members purchased several examples of unsafe used tires from Florida used tire stores. Each tire exhibited one or more conditions that are clearly unsafe: They were bald; had significant damage; or had punctures that were improperly repaired or not repaired at all.

(The RMA says tires worn to 2/32nds of an inch are considered bald and are dangerous. "Such tires no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions.")

“Unsafe used tires are readily available for sale across the nation,” says Zielinski. “Any used tire is a risky proposition since it’s impossible to know the service history of a tire used by someone else. But some businesses are compounding that problem by selling tires that anyone in the tire business should know are dangerous.”

The RMA is also advocating unsafe used tire legislation in Texas (see "RMA supports ban of 'unsafe' used tires"). On April 3, the Texas Senate Transportation Committee today unanimously passed SB 459, which makes it eligible for consideration by the full Texas Senate. No date has yet been set for Senate floor consideration.

“We are working to educate policymakers and consumers about the dangers of unsafe used tires and will advocate state laws to prohibit the sale of used tires with conditions that pose a significant motorist safety risk,” says Zielinski. “Consumers may think used tires are a bargain, but saving a few dollars isn’t worth the risk if your choice includes a worn out or damaged tire.”

For more on the topic, check out these links:

"Used tires get abused in Texas state legislature."

"30 people weigh in on used tire ban."

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