Worn Out Tire Legislation Being Considered

(NETWORK INDIANA)   State lawmakers have filed legislation in an effort to make Hoosier roadways safer.

Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) has co-authored legislation, House Bill 1174, that would ban the installation of unsafe, used tires.

It would prohibit suppliers and retailers from installing damaged, worn out or improperly repaired tires, and those that do could be fined $500 for each violation.

Drivers are involved in 11,000 tire-related crashes every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It’s an issue Call 6 Investigates has raised and one that has Forestal concerned.

“There was a real public safety need and a need for someone to step in,” said Forestal. “I think this year we may get it done and make the roads a little safer for Hoosiers.”

The tire industry points to statistics that show worn out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth.

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association and the Tire Industry Association both support House Bill 1174.

A committee is expected to hear the bill on Wednesday.

“I think we’ve got a good chance at getting it passed this year,” said Forestal.

Sean Kane, the founder and president of Safety Research & Strategies, criticized that the legislation does not address a specific age where a tire becomes dangerous.

Kane also said the recall system for tires is broken, pointing to a 2015 NTSB report that exposed flaws in how the automotive and tire industry address tire aging.

Kane points out many tire manufacturers have their own guidelines on the age of the tire.

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, however, does not feel it is necessary to put it into law.

“Data does not support expiration dates,” said Dan Zielinski, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association.

Zielinski said several other states are in the process of adopting similar legislation and New Jersey just passed a law in 2017.