A recent study by the Virginia Department of Transportation concluded that retreads were not the main cause of roadside tire debris.
The eight-week study was conducted on three different sections of heavily traveled interstate highways. An estimated 127,522 pounds of tire debris was collected over 658 miles highways.
The study was conducted after a House Joint Resolution was passed in the 1999 session of the Virginia General Assembly requesting the Department of State Police to "study the need for state standards for recapped vehicle tires." A committee of 10 was appointed to make the study, including representatives from the Virginia DOT, State Police, Department of Motor Vehicles,
Virginia Trucking Assn., Virginia Tire & Automotive Service Dealers Assn., a private Virginia trucking company and a Virginia retreader.
After review of the data, the Study Committee ruled that the problem of tire debris along Virginia highways is not due solely to retreaded tires.
The study stated, "Based on the results of this study, this Committee does not recommend the development of state standards. There is a misconception that all tire debris problems are attributed to retreading operations, which is not factual. Furthermore, imposing standards would only affect the 3.5 percent of retreaders that operate in Virginia."
In lieu of developing state standards, the Committee recommended public education concerning proper tire maintenance and the importance of maintaining recommended air pressure in tires; encouraging key members of the tire industry to maintain strict industry standards and follow
recommended practices and processing guidelines; and forwarding all available information to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for their review and consideration in developing Federal standards for recapped tires designed for large commercial motor vehicles.
For a complete copy of the final report, contact the Tire Retread Information Bureau, (831)
372-1917 or e-mail: retreads@aol.com.