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Reduce the Risk - Tyre Safety Campaign

Over 15,000 break­downs per year on Eng­lish motor­ways are tyre-related — which is why the Agency sup­ported Tyre Safety month in Octo­ber 2013.

The cam­paign, organ­ised by not-for-profit group Tyre­Safe, encour­ages dri­vers to check their tyre pres­sures monthly or before a long jour­ney to ensure they remain safe on the road. By dri­ving on cor­rectly inflated tyres, motorists also help their tyres to last longer and reduce their fuel bills.  Our inci­dent logs show that between April and June 2013, 3,852 break­downs on our net­work were tyre-related. Almost 30 per­cent of these had an impact on live traf­fic lanes.

High­ways Agency Traf­fic Man­age­ment Direc­tor, Simon Sheldon-Wilson said:

“By tak­ing a few min­utes to check your tyres, you could save your­self the dis­tress, cost and pos­si­bly very seri­ous con­se­quences of hav­ing a tyre blow-out at high speed. A tyre fail­ure can hap­pen sud­denly in fast-moving traf­fic, putting every­one at increased risk.  Tyre debris in live lanes can cause dan­ger for oth­ers, includ­ing our staff who have to stop traf­fic and cross the car­riage­way to retrieve it.”

Tyre­Safe Chair­man, Stu­art Jack­son added:

“If dri­ven while they are under-inflated, tyres are much more likely to over­heat and suf­fer from a rapid defla­tion. This type of event can be extremely dan­ger­ous and make the car very dif­fi­cult to con­trol.  What’s more, it’s often made worse as it’s much more likely to occur after pro­longed peri­ods of high speed run­ning, such as dur­ing motor­way jour­neys. To reduce this risk, dri­vers should check their tyre pres­sures at least once a month or before any long journeys.”

To sup­port TyreSafe’s cam­paign, we have shared reveal­ing CCTV footage via YouTube show­ing the impact of tyre fail­ures.  This includes the shock­ing con­se­quences of a blow-out on a heav­ily laden vehi­cle, the finan­cial con­se­quences of a lengthy clear-up oper­a­tion fol­low­ing a tyre fail­ure and the work traf­fic offi­cers have to do to clear tyre debris from live lanes. We have also cre­ated a tyre safety ani­ma­tion to fur­ther engage with the gen­eral pub­lic through social media, as well as an info­graphic which will be used by our part­ners to aide con­ver­sa­tions about tyre safety as part of their tyre safety interventions.

Work on the cam­paign led to us win­ning an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion award at TyreSafe’s indus­try award cer­e­mony. The award was pre­sented by Stu­art Jack­son who said:

“The High­ways Agency has gone to con­sid­er­able lengths to ensure tyre safety remains at very top of the road safety agenda. After an exten­sive pro­gramme gain­ing evi­dence as to why tyre safety should be a focus, it’s now one of their main road safety pri­or­i­ties. The organ­i­sa­tion has been a great sup­porter of Tyre­Safe over the last few years but their efforts dur­ing tyre safety month sig­nif­i­cantly con­tributed to the campaign’s vis­i­bil­ity across the coun­try and saw some very high pro­file tyre safety mes­sages on the signs over our motor­ways and major A roads.”

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please con­tact Louisa Cliffe, High­ways Agency Strate­gic Safety Team