TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that prohibits the sale of unsafe used tires in the Garden State.
The statute, A-3896, imposes fines of up to $500 for the first offense and up to $20,000 for third of subsequent offenses.
That statue — sponsored by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, D-Paterson, and Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Linden, and advocated by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) — defines an unsafe used as one that:
- has a tread depth of less than 1/16 inch measurable in any groove;
- has any damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including any cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes, or wear;
- has any improper repairs, including, but not limited to: any repair to the sidewall or bead area of the tire; any repair made in the tread shoulder or belt edge area of the tire; any puncture that has not been sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem through the outside of the tire; or any puncture repair of damage larger than 1/4 inch;
- shows evidence of prior use of a temporary tire sealant without evidence of a subsequent proper repair;
- has a defaced or missing tire identification number;
- has inner liner or bead damage; or
- shows indication of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear.
USTMA President and CEO Anne Forristall Luke lauded Assemblywoman Sumter and Sen. Scutari for their leadership on this issue, saying: "New Jersey has taken a bold step to protect motorists from high-risk used tires that have no business being put back into service on New Jersey roads."
The Tire Industry Association and New Jersey Gas Station-C-Store-Automotive Association also supported the legislation, according to the USTMA.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows that worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. USTMA research shows that more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year.
The USTMA stressed that the legislation does not ban all used tire sales. Instead it targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.