Old Tyres Kill
This is a piece I’ve wanted to write for quite some time. Ever since I first heard Mrs Frances Molloy speak of the devastating loss of her 18 year old son Michael Molloy. Not only was Mrs Molloy dealing with her own inconsolable grief, she founded the TYRED campaign to raise awareness and change legislation on old tyres on coaches.
Being a mother myself of a son around the same age as Michael was, is why this story resonates with me so much. That, plus the fact my husband and I operate a coach company.
My husband was more or less ‘born’ into the industry and went on to purchase the company from his parents over 20 years ago. What we now have is a well-established coach company where our objective is to provide safe, reliable transport. A coach company where we can without any shadow of doubt say (which we often do to our customers), ‘we would have no hesitation in letting our own children travel on our coaches’.
Before reading on, please take a few minutes to watch Mrs Molloy’s video message below and tell you her story.
NOW. I would challenge anyone to not be moved by Mrs Molloy’s loss.
Is it not any parent’s worst nightmare; the loss of a child?
What makes this story even worse, is that this fatality was totally preventable…….. HOW?…….. price!
Those less scrupulous coach operators will scrimp to save, and sadly they will cut corners. All because of price! Sadly, by being the cheapest quote on the day they get the booking. So, to recap, that’s not the SAFEST on the day, it’s the CHEAPEST.
This is why we regularly try and explain to our customers; if it’s cheap, it’s cheap for a reason.
Yesterday saw Government announce a change in legislation from January 2021 meaning it will be illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses. It is a step in the right direction.
The back tyres however, with twin configuration are not included in the change of legislation. This is because research (now that’s research not physical tests) found one tyre in a pair presented a lower risk in loss of directional control or stability.
We beg to differ….
Should a rear tyre blow (as in explode like the photo below taken from the Merseyside Travel fatality when Michael sadly lost his life), it is surely going to have a negative impact on the tyre it is paired with.
The delamination of the tyre in the photo below shows the metal strips which run through these tyre. Those metal strips spinning at say 60mph on that blown tyre would have serious consequences on the tyre it is sat next to…. would it not? We think it would. If you ask any reputable, well established operator they will say the same.
Will it take another loss of life to make the legislation incorporate that on the twin configuration at the rear of vehicles? After all, if it’s too old for the front, is it not surely too old for the back?
Mrs Molloy took it upon herself to learn about an industry she knew nothing about. To dedicate her life to the TYRED Campaign to change legislation. Yesterday was a victory. To ensure that no other family goes through what the Molloy family go through every single day and to make sure that the roads are safer for everybody.
THANK YOU Mrs Molloy and your support network for your 8 long years of campaigning.
What we will do is continue to point people to the Tyred website. Point them to Mrs Molloy’s video message; a portrayal of grief and a much too early loss of life. A loss which should never have happened.
You can read the full statement below from TYRED which was issued 15th July 2020.