TEXAS LEGISLATURE SENDS HIGHWAY SAFETY LEGISLATION PROHIBITING INSTALLATION OF UNSAFE USED TIRES TO GOVERNOR
WASHINGTON, May 23, 2019—Legislation to prohibit the installation of unsafe used tires that pose a risk to Texas motorists is headed to Governor Greg Abbott for signature.
The bill, S.B. 511, introduced by State Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), would clearly define the characteristics of unsafe used tires and prohibit businesses from knowingly installing any such tires on a vehicle that would travel on public streets or highways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth.
USTMA research shows that nearly 38 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. The legislation does not ban the installation or sale of all used tires. It targets used tires with specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.
“As we observe National Tire Safety Week, USTMA applauds the Texas legislature for taking this important step toward preventing high-risk used tires from jeopardizing the safety of motorists on Texas roads,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO.
"This is a common sense bill that will save lives by mitigating one of the biggest causes of serious car crashes – unsafe tires," said Sen. Rodríguez. "This bill provides another layer of protection for consumers, drivers, and law enforcement."
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 commend Sen. Jose Rodriguez’s leadership in advancing this important safety bill,” Luke said. “We also applaud Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) for leading the House effort. We respectfully encourage Gov. Abbott to give final approval to this measure that enjoys broad bipartisan support.”