Business News of Wednesday, 10 April 2013
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) says there is need to consider a ban on the importation of used tyres, which increase the risk of road crashes by 30 percent. The Commission said in the short-term it will intensify education of motorists to embrace best practices regarding the use of vehicle tyres, but a ban may be appropriate in future.
“NRSC has been advocating the need for motorists to embrace best practices regarding the use of tyres as an important requirement in order to deliver on the demands of safer vehicles within the framework of the NRSC Strategy III (2011 to 2020),” said David Adonteng, the Commission’s Director of Research, Monitoring &Evaluation, at a road-sector stakeholders meeting in Accra.
He said the Commission in its advocacy and research conducted a study on “the magnitude of the use of home-used tyres and its impact on the road safety situation in Ghana”, and the findings, among others, confirmed that 75 percent of tyres imported into the country are used tyres — which indicates that three in every four tyres sold in Ghana are used ones.
Over 15 percent of vehicles involved in fatal crashes had some form of tyre-defect prior to the crash, the study found, while 85 percent of respondents said they only check their vehicle tyre-pressure when it is low.
“Most tyres used in the country have either expired or have a reduced lifespan. Their reliability is highly variable and this has very high implications for road safety,” said Rudolph Beckley, Deputy Director, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation. He said motorists driving on worn tyres are more likely to be the party at fault in accidents, and the probability of a crash occurrence in wet conditions is very high. He urged vehicle users to check their tyre-pressure once daily because most tyres may naturally lose air over time, adding that tyres can also lose air suddenly if a vehicle drives over a pothole or strikes the curb when parking.
Mr. Adonteng said it is necessary to intensify the regulation of tyres imported into the country, and added that the Commission is mulling a regulation that will require all tyre dealers or vendors to provide consumers with detailed information about the tyres they are buying.
The European Union, according to him, introduced a similar regulation in November last year which requires that new tyres sold in the EU be classified in a similar way to household goods, providing consumers with more detailed information about the tyres they are buying.
But it is also important to step-up education of motorists about the dangers involved in the use of used tyres, Mr. Adonteng said. “We are going to champion this cause by recognising vulcanisers’ associations and filling stations, since they are the fist point of call when a driver detects a problem on his tyre.”
He also asked the Custom Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to engage the tyre dealers and explain to them that vehicle tyres that are more than four years old from their manufacturing date should not be imported into the country, since they are classified as sub-standard products.