The number of drivers successfully prosecuted by courts in England and Wales for driving on defective tyres has risen by 14% in 2008, according to Ministry of Justice figures.
Current UK law requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the dangers of defective and worn tyres , says: “Many drivers have the misconception that the police are too busy or too stretched to stop and prosecute them for driving on illegal tyres.
“These latest figures show this is clearly not the case and that the court system still considers driving on illegal tyres a very serious offence.
“We fully support the police’s efforts in clamping down on this dangerous behaviour and encourage all drivers to take a few minutes every month to check their tyre’s tread depth, pressure and general condition.
“Not only could the checks save you from a court prosecution, it could help save your life.”