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Pressure put on watchdogs!

Consumer watchdogs in West Yorkshire have been put under pressure!

Officers from the Yorkshire and Humber Trading Standards Group have conducted a survey across the region on the condition and accuracy of tyre pressure gauges at garages, tyre depots and other trading establishments.

They found gauges with errors of up to 6lb per square inch (PSI) overall.

This could equate to a 20% error on a cold tyre and could have safety implications.

Some 86% of gauges tested were found to have some degree of error, with 11% having significant errors of over 3lb PSI.

In addition, traders were asked about the nature of servicing and calibration on their gauges.

Just 47% undertook some sort of routine maintenance and calibration.

However, results within West Yorkshire were more encouraging, with no significant errors over 3lb PSI found. The vast majority of gauges were either correct or had small errors.

Peter Taylor, secretary of the Tyre Industry Council, said: "Correct pressures are vital for safe handling and optimum braking, grip and tyre life.

"Low tyre pressures may cause increased fuel consumption, more air pollution, shorter tyre life and a greater risk of failure and reduced stability when braking and cornering.

"High tyre pressures may cause reduced comfort, less grip, greater risk of impact tyre damage and reduced stability when braking and cornering".

Graham Hebblethwaite, West Yorkshire's Chief Trading Standards Officer, said: "Vehicle owners can help themselves by checking their vehicle's tyre pressures at least every two weeks and only when the tyres are cold."

Kirklees councillor Tony Brice, a member of the Trading Standards Committee, said: "While it is acknowledged that airline pressure gauges are not always used properly by the car owner, it is clear that if sections of the trade do not do enough to ensure the accuracy of tyre pressure gauges then the vehicle user may be at risk."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 12, 2005
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