AKRON—A bill containing a ban on the use of retreaded tires on ``vehicles for hire'' has been introduced in the Florida Legislature. But a spokesman for its sponsor said there may not be time for it to be considered in this session.
The bill was introduced in the Florida Senate Feb. 26 by Sen. M. Mandy Dawson-White, a Democrat from Fort Lauderdale. The Florida Livery Act would consolidate the regulation of licensing, inspection and chauffeur permits.
The inspection section of the bill states: ``Tires which are retreaded shall not be used on a vehicle for hire.'' This would ban the use of retreads on many types of commercial vehicles, including taxicabs, limousines, shuttles, vans, buses and ambulances.
But Thomas Donaldson, chief of staff for Ms. Dawson-White, said the bill probably won't be considered in committee before April 20. That means there would not be enough time for the Legislature to act on it this session, he added.
``This bill was not intended to harm anyone's business,'' he said. Mr. Donaldson said the original text of the bill was written by people from industry and consumer groups and submitted to the senator.
The bill was ``initially thought of as a safety measure,'' he said. Individual counties currently regulate vehicles for hire in Florida, and Mr. Donaldson said this bill was an effort to ``standardize safety measures across the state.''
Mr. Donaldson said the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and others have contacted Ms. Dawson-White about the retread ban. But once the bill is filed, it can't be changed until it is under consideration in committee, he said.
``Just because you see it in the bill now, doesn't mean it will be in it when it passes,'' Mr. Donaldson said of the proposed retread ban.
Jill Mondo, executive director of the Florida Independent Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association in Boca Raton, Fla., called the ban ``unreasonable.'' She added, ``There is no clear evidence that retreads perform less well than new tires.''
Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau, said TRIB has notified its Florida members and other state and national trade groups about the bill.
Mr. Brodsky said he sent Ms. Dawson-White a package of information about retreading. In an accompanying letter, he wrote about the large number of vehicles, including rental vans and buses, that use retreads and noted that a federal executive order requires the use of retreads on federal government vehicles.
``We have been successful in stopping this type of legislation, to my knowledge, 100 percent of the time,'' Mr. Brodsky said. But, he urged Florida dealers to call Ms. Dawson-White's office and say, ``Hey, this is going to hurt me in the pocketbook!''