Tyre defence paid from public funds
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• In clearing David Bruce (Northern) Ltd, and one of the company's drivers, of tyre offences, Ampthill magistrates have ordered that the defence costs be paid out of public funds.
The company ard the driver were charged with using a vehicle with at tyre fitted which did not have the base of any groove which showed in the original tread pattern clearly visible, contrary to Regulation 27(1)(f) of the 1986 Construction & Use Regulations. The prosecution maintained that two super-single tyres of Continental manufacture were devoid of tread depth on the outer 21/2 inches of an 111/4 inch tyre.
Evidence was given by a representative of the Continental Tyre Co's technical service division, that the tyres concerned were manufactured with a five-groove tread pattern which was not affected by the outer 21/2 inches. When the tyres were new, there were shallow lines cut at a right angle to the tread pattern in that outer 21/2 inches to allow the rubber to flex and keep cool.
In addition, said the tyre company representative, on the shoulder there were "pie crust" effect grooves which were purely decorative. Both features were designed to wear out faster than the tread pattern and would not be required on regrooving.
Defending, John Bacichouse argued that before the prosecution could prove that an offence had been committed, it had to show of what the original tread pattern had consisted.