Indiana lawmakers are considering a proposed bill that aims to prohibit tire and automotive service businesses from installing unsafe used tires on vehicles.
Rep. Robert Morris, chairman of the House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, introduced the bill, which is being backed by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).
“Safety is our industry’s top priority, which is why USTMA is continuing to advocate for common-sense state laws to stop the installation of unsafe used tires,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO.
The bill, HB 1774, defines an unsafe used tire as worn-out, has visible damage or improper repairs.
Tires worn to 2/32nds are dangerous because they no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions, according to USTMA. 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.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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.
“This targeted legislation will help protect Indiana consumers from risks posed by unsafe used tires,” Luke said. “We hope to capitalize on the momentum we achieved last year with enactment of New Jersey legislation and solid progress on an Ohio bill last year.”
The Ohio Senate passed a similar unsafe used-tire measure in December. The Ohio House of Representatives will debate that bill in the coming weeks.
“We are very grateful to Rep. Morris for his strong leadership on this important issue,” Luke said. “We are excited at the opportunity to advance a key consumer safety initiative in Indiana, which is an important state to our industry.”