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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Drivers warned they could face a fine of £10k unless they check tyres with ‘20p trick’

Drivers are being warned they risk fines of up to £10,000 and 12 penalty points on their licence - and thus a road ban - unless they check their tyres are legally roadworthy with a simple 20p test.

A potential driving ban or a bank-breaking fine awaits motorists who fail to ensure their tyre tread depths are up to the minimum standard, motoring experts have warned.

According to the DVSA all four tyres must have at least 1.6mm of tread depth around the central three-quarters of the tyre breadth and across the entire outer circumference.

This legal requirement means your vehicle is able to grip the road properly to safely accelerate and break without losing traction on the tarmac.

In wet conditions your car will be more susceptible to aquaplaning - where the tyre is separated from the road by water leading to a complete loss of grip - without at least 1.6mm of tread depth, Yorkshire Live reports .

Worn out tyres can increase stopping distances potentially leading to serious collisions, accidents and fatalities. The latest data shows that over 20 per cent of all breakdowns on UK roads happen because of tyre problems.

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” are not visible, then the tyre has a sufficient tread depth and is roadworthy.

However, if that's not the case, the tyres should be taken to a mechanic to be inspected professionally. The 20p test should be done regularly and before long journeys to ensure all tyres are legal and to avoid hefty fines, dangerous driving charges and penalty points.

If caught driving with defective tyres, motorists could be subject to a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. This means that if all four tyres do not meet the legal requirements then drivers could be slapped with a whopping £10,000 fine and 12 points on their licence, almost certain to lead to a driving ban.

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