Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone in Taxi Safety Appeal

May 09, 2011
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Bridgestone South Africa has called on operators of minibus taxis to ensure that replacement tyres fitted to their taxis meet the same standards as those originally fitted.

Bridgestone Public Relations Manager, Mandy Lovell, said that the government's Taxi Recapitalisation Project has promoted minimum standards of safety for taxis, but that fitment of incorrect tyres to save on running costs could place the entire vehicle at risk.

"We are concerned at reports of normal passenger car tyres being fitted to minibus taxis to reduce costs," Lovell said. "These tyres are not designed for the loads and usage patterns of minibus taxis, even when correctly fitted and inflated".

She said that when a tyre was forced to carry a load in excess of its rated capacity, its internal structure was subject to strains it was never designed for. This could cause rapid overheating leading to reduced tyre life, or even disintegration due to structural failure.

"South Africa's high ambient temperatures and long distances also subject the tyres of a fully-laden taxi to strains beyond the capacity of typical passenger tyres," she commented, adding that modern taxis with ABS brakes were especially demanding on their tyres during episodes of heavy braking.

She said that it was for this reason that Bridgestone manufactured tyres specifically intended for the taxi role. These tyres are available in either plain black sidewall or white sidewall, according to the taxi operator's taste. "These tyres are proper commercial tyres which are designed to take the loads which are part of a minibus taxi's usage profile," she explained. "Fitting these tyres ensures the taxi driver will enjoy the same braking, cornering and steering capabilities of the tyres that the taxi was fitted with at the factory, along with a strong tyre construction and adequate load-carrying ability," she added.

"For the sake of passenger safety, we appeal to taxi operators who are replacing the tyres on their vehicles not to take shortcuts which save only a few Rand but considerably increase the risk of tyre failure," she concluded

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Bridgestone South Africa

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