COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to mount unsafe used tires on vehicles within the state.
The new law takes effect July 1, according to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA),which supported the legislation.
Introduced as Ohio Senate Bill 223, the new law makes it illegal to sell tires for road use that:
- have less than 1/16-inch tread depth;
- have damage that exposes steel belts and other internal components;
- have improper repairs; or
- have bulges that could indicate internal damage.
The bill classifies a violation of the act as a "minor misdemeanor" subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for each offense. The bill does not specify who will be responsible for enforcing the law.
The USTMA quoted figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that worn-out tires are three times more likely to figure in a crash than tires with adequate tread depth. More than 30 million used tires are made available for sale annually throughout the U.S., the USTMA said.
NHTSA estimates that 738 people die in the U.S. in tire-related crashes annually, the USTMA said.
Jamie Ward, president of Cincinnati-based retailer Tire Discounters and an Ohio Tire & Automotive Association board member, said a consumer protection bill like this "is long overdue. It will prevent countless injuries and fatalities caused by unsafe tires."
Tire Discounters trains all of its employees on tire safety and is installing customer education in its stores so that customers can see the difference in stopping distance as tire tread is worn down, Crissy Niese, chief customer officer and senior vice president, said.
Ohio is the third state, after Colorado and New Jersey, to approve a bill that contains USTMA model language on used tires. Arizona passed a used tire law in 2017 that is not based on the USTMA model.
The Texas legislature passed a USTMA-supported bill, but Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed it.
A similar bill is pending in Indiana but failed to gain support in South Carolina in 2016.