The Rubber Association of Canada (RAC), with the assistance of three Canadian government agencies, is urging Canadian tire dealers to stage ``Be Tire Smart'' clinics this spring to raise consumer awareness of proper tire inflation and its effect on safety and the environment.
The RAC-in cooperation with the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and its own member companies-will supply free ``Be Tire Smart'' posters and leaflets to dealers who wish to stage an event during ``Be Tire Smart'' week, April 25-May 1, according to RAC President Glenn Maidment. He presented the program at the recent Tire Dealers Association of Canada national convention in Winnipeg.
RAC member companies Goodyear Canada Inc., Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., Bridgestone/Firestone Canada Inc. and Toyo Tire Canada Inc. held tire inflation clinics for their employees last year, Mr. Maidment said, and dealers can tap into those experiences in planning their event.
The RAC also has available four recorded tire inflation radio messages that dealers can use with their own tag lines and will list all scheduled clinics on the www.betiresmart.ca Web site, Mr. Maidment said.
The Canadian ``Be Tire Smart'' campaign, originally an effort of the RAC/RMA and Transport Canada, has gained valuable allies in the past year in the form of Environment Canada and the National Resources Council, which resulted in the groups' ``Riding on Air'' information brochure. It will be re-issued as an officially sanctioned Canadian government publication.
The RAC's initiative comes on the heels of the release of an RAC-Canadian government study on tire inflation that showed 70 percent of Canadian passenger cars and light trucks have at least one tire that is improperly inflated by at least 10 percent. It also found that more than half of those-40 percent of the total-had at least one tire 20 percent mis-inflated.
In addition, the study found that motorists do not know where to look for the proper tire pressure ratings for their vehicle, when to measure tire pressure and what are the proper tire maintenance procedures. In fact, more than half of those surveyed said they believed a visual check of their tires was sufficient to tell if they were properly inflated.
Besides the overriding safety message associated with proper inflation, the Canadian Be Tire Smart campaign will point out the significant environmental contribution consumers can make by maintaining their tires, as well as the potential cost savings.
Proper inflation can prevent 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, the partners said. Budgetarily, a consumer can save up to $750 over the typical seven-year life of a vehicle.
The Canadian government is providing nearly $500,000 through the Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency to help fund the campaign. The agency also will co-manage the project and provide information and technical expertise on vehicle fuel efficiency and climate change. Transport Canada and Environment Canada also are providing in-kind services and technical support in their respective fields of expertise.