DRIVERS have been warned they face a £10,000 fine for not checking their tyres.
Drivers have a responsibility to ensure their vehicles meet the requirements outlined in the Highway Code.
Under UK law, tyre tread must be a certain depth depending on the type of vehicle.
For cars, light vans and light trailers, tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth, while for motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles, it’s 1mm.
The Highway Code says: "Tyres must be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification for the load being carried. Always refer to the vehicle’s handbook or data.
"Tyres should also be free from certain cuts and other defects."
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Having the correct tread depth means cars can safely grip the road to accelerate smoothly but, most importantly, be able to slow the car down correctly.
Motorists could be fined £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre if caught driving with defective tyres.
This means that if all four tyres do not meet the legal requirements, drivers could be slapped with a whopping £10,000 fine and 12 points on their licence.
The latest data shows that over 20% of all breakdowns on UK roads happen because of tyre problems.
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These 40,000-plus drivers could have avoided a breakdown if they had carried out basic checks on their tyres before setting off.
DIY tread depth checks can easily be carried out at home by just placing a 20p coin in the main tyre grooves.
If the engraved words “twenty pence” is not visible, then the tyre has a sufficient tread depth and is roadworthy.
However, if this band is visible, the tyres should be taken to a mechanic to be inspected professionally.
Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: "It’s really important to regularly check the tread depth of your tyres, else you could easily land a bank-breaking fine and potentially even face driving bans.
"The penalties for driving with defective tyres are very serious, and landing a £10,000 for not having all four wheels up to scratch can be life-changing.
"Without the right tread depth, your car won’t be able to stop properly and could easily cause dangerous collisions or even fatalities.
"It might seem tedious, but making basic checks to your tyres every few weeks is necessary.
"The 20p test is easy to do at home and gives you a good idea as to whether your tyres are in the legal tread depth of 1.6 mm or not instead of having to take your car out to a garage or wait until it’s next MOT."
This comes after drivers have been warned that running out of petrol can cost them a £5k fine and nine points on their licence.
Plus, dog owners have been warned they could face a £5,000 fine if they break a little-known Highway Code rule.
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