Monday 04 June 2012
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COSEVI Plans To Mark Tires To Eliminate Riteve Trick Of Switching
• Renting tires for the vehicular inspection is not an uncommon practice

The idea of renting or borrowing tires for the Riteve vehicular inspection seems far fetched for many, but in fact, has become a serious problem for transport authorities that the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) is discussing the possibility of marking tires with the license plate number.

HALF MAY BE LESS THAN YOU THINK. The shallow grooves and worn sipes on the half-tread tire (at right) hint at the potential lost wet-weather grip compared with its relatively new identical twin. Our tests show that rain and snow traction can decline significantly even with half the tread intact.

The move, if adopted, would prevent vehicle owners from replacing temporarily worn out tires with good ones for the inspection and the switch back after.

The idea being discussed by transport officials is similar to that used my some with marking the windows and other part numbers of the vehicle with the license plate number.

In Costa Rica, the license plate assigned to a vehicle is for the life of the vehicle and permanent part of the vehicle ownership.

Silvia Bolaños, director of the Cosevi, explained that the other option to the plate number would be to use the vehicle's VIN (vehicle identification number), with the idea to increase highway safety and eliminate the circulation of vehicles with bad tires.

The rainy season is when bald and worn out tires becomes a real road hazard, that can even lead to injuries and fatal accidents.

Worn tires — especially bald ones — can be deadly on wet roads, where the grooves aren't deep enough to channel water out from beneath the tread. The result is hydroplaning, where the tread skims the water's surface and the vehicle no longer responds to the steering wheel. Wet-weather braking and snow traction also decrease as tires wear.

The renting of tires is a well known business practice, but one that is not illegal. Marvin Salazar, Cosevi specialist, told the La Nacion that they are working on a regulation with respect to tires, which is already before the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio (MEIC).

The Cosevi says that they are looking at methods to mark the tires in ways that they do not alter its composition and safety,

Erick Herrera, director of Manufacturing at Bridgestone de Costa Rica, told La Naciona, "it is not recommended to realize any alteration, but one possibly safer and easier to implement is to make a mark in the area where the tire specs are located or the DOT".

If adopted, the practice of switching tires could be a serious problem - and expensive one for businesses with a vehicle fleet, car rental agencies and even private owners - who have more than one vehicle of the same type or use the same type of vehicle.



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