The annual Tyre Safety Day on 2nd October marked the beginning of Road Safety Week 2023, a joint initiative by the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA).
Garda checkpoints across the country were dedicated to inspecting tyres and offering motorists guidance on proper tyre maintenance.
A recent survey conducted by Continental Tyres for Tyre Safety Day revealed a concerning fact; 71 per cent of car owners neglect regular tyre checks. This reality was said to be starkly evident at the checkpoints, where numerous vehicles were flagged for poor tyre condition.
Photos taken at these spots were widely shared on social media, emphasising the critical need for routine tyre care.
During the official launch event in Dublin, the emphasis was on educating first-time car buyers about identifying tyre wear and tear and implementing regular checks to ensure their vehicles were roadworthy.
Drivers were urged to perform quick tyre inspections weekly and more detailed ones monthly. An Garda Síochána members nationwide collaborated with RSA vehicle inspectors for checkpoints.
These interactions involved educating drivers about tyre safety and, if necessary, enforcing road traffic legislation violations related to tyres and other offences.
Sam Waide, chief executive of the RSA, said: “Tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road and their importance is often overlooked.
“It’s vital to get into the habit of regularly checking your tyres, from the moment you purchase your first car.
“Ensure your tyres are properly inflated, check the tread depth and con rm they are free from cracks, tears, or bulges. If your tyres show signs of deterioration, you should have them replaced immediately.”
Superintendent Thomas Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, added: “Defective tyres are a serious risk to all road users. Collisions can be avoided if you drive at an appropriate speed and ensure your tyres are in a roadworthy condition.
“You only have around four inches of contact with the road per tyre at any time, it’s imperative that these points of contact are kept in accordance manufacturer’s guidelines – and with the law – for your safety.”
The member directory of the ITIA website has been redeveloped making it easier for customers to locate their nearest ITIA expert. Throughout the week, ITIA members actively participated in social media campaigns, and various retailers displayed Tyre Safety Day banners outside their premises.
Special competitions, including a prize for the best social media engagement by a member company, further enhanced the awareness campaign’s impact. Sean McManus Tyres in Drogheda, Co. Louth won the overall prize of a social night out for the team at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium in Dublin.
In the run up to 2nd October, a weekend radio advertising campaign aired on prominent stations such as Today FM, Newstalk, iRadio (NE and NW), Beat102103, and Cork’s Red FM. Additionally, an Instagram competition on Today FM attracted over 3,000 entries, while an online giveaway for a €250 voucher received significant attention.
Reflecting on the week’s activities, Sue O’Neill, ITIA chief executive noted increased customer engagement during Road Safety Week, leading to more tyre checks and boosted sales for ITIA members.
She expressed gratitude for the collective efforts and announced plans for a winter-ready campaign to sustain momentum.
“Through continued online promotions, the ITIA aims to amplify the crucial message of tyre safety, encouraging road users to prioritise their safety and that of others on the road,” she said.