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The Nelson Photo News



Tyres and Treads

"A big have; a racket; about time; should have been done years ago."

These are a cross-section of comments we got when we approached a number of motorists for opinions on the new tyre tread regulations. Because new tyre manufacturers and retreaders have been unable to cope with the number of orders coming forward after the new regulations came into force, the regulations have been suspended for two months. This, in itself, gives some indication of the number of motor vehicles which have been using the roads with tyres worn below the now minimum tread depth of 1/16th of an inch. The tyre at top left appears to have a lot of tread; in fact it was just below the minimum. Was this dangerous? We asked two tyre experts. Both said "yes", in certain conditions. These were in wet weather on a road with a shiny bitumen surface. Under such conditions, tyres with little tread on cars travelling at a fairly high speed, were prone to aquaplane across the surface like a skater on ice. Should an emergency arise, there is insufficient tread on the tyre to grip the road during braking, We go along with this explanation, but we agree with many others, among them Automobile Associations, that the regulation should not apply quite so strictly to trailer tyres. Our pix here show views of the Dunlop Company's retreading plant in St Vincent Street working to capacity. This, and all other retreading. factories, have more work than they can handle.