Transport ministry warns against the use of snow tyres

Monday, March 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Ministry of Transport and Mining (MOTM) is urging motorists and motor vehicle dealers to beware of the use of snow (winter) tyres on Jamaican roads.

In a release today, the ministry said that many unsuspecting consumers purchase used vehicles fitted with snow tyres not knowing of the dangers they may face. Officials from the Transport Ministry indicate that under no circumstance should vehicles fitted with winter tyres be certified fit for the Jamaican roadways.

According to the MOTM, winter tyres are designed for cold temperatures and winter conditions.

“Once the temperature rises, these tyres loose its integrity and make it difficult for drivers to maintain control over their vehicles on hot asphalt and when it rains. These tyres are less effective at dissipating heat, therefore the risks of overinflating and blowouts are much higher,” the MOTM stated.

There are a number of features consumers can look out for to identify snow tyres. These include traction with deeper grooves, and sharp, irregular edges. Snow tyres are much noisier than all season tyres.

Driving on snow tyres in Jamaica increases the braking distance by at least 10 percent on dry pavement and 26 percent on wet pavement. They wear out much faster than their expected tread life when they are ran on hot pavement. Since snow tyres are made with a softer compound, they will also tend to wear unevenly when driven in the wrong conditions. This creates more rolling resistance and uses more gas and affects vehicle control.

The Transport Ministry is also urging dealers to exercise a moral responsibility to not sell unsuspecting consumers vehicles with snow tyres. Certificates of Fitness will not be issued for vehicles with these tyres.

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