RMA, TIA Urge States to Adopt Vehicle Safety Inspections

Groups File Joint Comments to NHTSA Supporting State Safety Guideline

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2012 – All states should adopt a periodic motor vehicle safety inspection to help reduce crashes each year, according to comments filed by Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire industry Association, the two leading national trade associations for the tire industry.

RMA and TIA filed joint comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supporting the agency’s guideline to states that they should adopt vehicle safety inspections. The guidance is not a mandate but one of a number of recommendations provided to states by NHTSA.

In their comments, RMA President and CEO, Charles Cannon and TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said, “RMA and TIA applaud NHTSA’s initiative and effort to encourage states to adopt effective safety programs. We strongly support NHTSA’s guideline that states should adopt periodic motor vehicle safety inspections. Adoption of this guideline in every state will help save lives, prevent injuries and reduce the economic damage caused by preventable motor vehicle crashes.”

The organizations both advocated that any state inspection program must include tires. “RMA and TIA strongly urge all states to adopt a periodic, preferably annual, motor vehicle safety inspection program. Such a program should have a tire inspection that, at a minimum, includes: Measure tread depth and fail vehicles that have any tire with a tread depth of 2/32nds inch or less on any part of the tire; check every tire for damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes or wear; and check and inflate all tires to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

RMA and TIA noted that few motorists check tires regularly and cited studies showing many motorists delay needed maintenance. “While an annual vehicle inspection that includes tires will not completely reverse such widespread neglect of tire maintenance, it can both reduce the incidents of tire failure and help educate more motorists about the importance of tire care,” Cannon and Littlefield wrote.

With fewer than 20 states having some form of vehicle inspection, RMA and TIA suggested that federal policymakers explore whether to create incentives or consequences to spur state action on this issue. “A mandatory, annual vehicle safety inspection could prevent vehicles with significant safety issues from being involved in a serious crash,” the groups wrote. “To ensure that states enact periodic inspection programs, the federal government should explore whether incentive grants can be made to states with programs or consider withholding federal highway funds from states without inspection programs to spur action.”

“We applaud NHTSA’s effort to encourage states to have vehicle inspection programs,” said Littlefield. “This is an issue in which there is unity among the leading tire industry organizations and we felt compelled to lend our collective voice to NHTSA’s effort.”

“Both RMA and TIA have strong records of supporting pro-safety efforts,” Cannon added. “We hope that states will take a fresh look at this issue and work with NHTSA to implement programs that can help reduce crashes on our nation’s roadways.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is an international association representing all segments of the tire industry, including those that manufacture, repair, recycle, sell, service or use new or retreaded tires, and also those suppliers or individuals who furnish equipment, material or services to the industry.

RMA Urges Ohio to Enact Primary Seat Belt Law

Letter to Ohio Senate

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 11, 2009 – The Rubber Manufacturers Association is urging Ohio lawmakers to enact legislation to improve motorist seat belt use.

A measure to allow police to pull over motorists only for failing to buckle up passed the Ohio House last week. The measure is expected to face opposition in the Senate.

In a letter to Ohio state senators, RMA President and CEO Charles A. Cannon noted the tire and rubber manufacturing industry’s long history in Ohio as well as the industry’s strong commitment to safety.

“Manufacturing the only automotive product that touches the road means safety is the single highest priority for tire makers,” Cannon wrote. “Automotive and tire research and innovation have made vehicles and vehicle components increasingly safe over the last several decades.

“Unfortunately, not even these fundamental technological leaps can always protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. While technologically simpler than many of today’s vehicle components, the seatbelt remains our nation’s most formidable weapon against motor vehicle fatalities and injuries.”

Using lap/shoulder belts reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent. States that have enacted primary seat belt enforcement have a 10-15 percent higher use rate compared to states with only secondary enforcement.

Ohio Senate hearings are scheduled today and tomorrow on HB 2, legislation that includes the primary seat belt enforcement provision. A broad coalition including automotive manufacturers, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, health care organizations, national and local safety organizations, supports the provision.

“The annual loss of 42,000 lives on U.S. highways is a national tragedy,” Cannon said. “Although it is a simple task, too many Americans continue to drive or ride in vehicles at great personal risk by not wearing a seatbelt. Increasing the ability of law enforcement to ticket seat belt avoidance will help improve Ohio’s seat belt compliance. Doing this will prevent the loss of life as well as the accompanying suffering of loved ones who bear the scars of bereavement over the often unnecessary loss of family or friends.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.