Morelle Introduces Bill to Improve Safety of Motorists

April 20, 2005

Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle (D-Irondequoit) has introduced a bill that would require tire manufacturers to clearly display the date of manufacture on both sides of a tire. Assembly Bill 6986 would prevent consumers from purchasing or using older tires, which carry a higher risk of tread belt separation, leading to tire failure and accidents.

Tires have a limited service life regardless of tread depth or use. Tire components dry and separate with age, leading to an increased risk of accidents due to tire failure. Consumers may buy tires or mount spare tires on their vehicles without knowing the tire may be aging and deficient. Research has shown that in the last 10 years, tread belt separations in aged tires have caused nearly 50 accidents, with 37 fatalities and 35 serious injuries. Currently, the only way to determine the age of a tire is by reading a complex code imprinted on the side of tires. A clear date of manufacture would enable consumers to easily determine the age of a tire, and will protect consumers.

"Consumers have a right to know the tires they place on their car are safe," Assemblyman Morelle said. "Displaying a clear date of manufacture on tires will prevent people from unknowingly purchasing or installing aging tires on their vehicle."

In addition to requiring the display of the date of manufacture on both sides of a tire, the bill would also require the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to develop a public outreach campaign to educate the public about the dangers of operating a vehicle with aged tires.

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., Chair of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, sponsors the bill in the New York State Senate.