On September 10th 2012, three people died returning home from what should have been a magical weekend, all because of an old tyre.
Michael Molloy (18), Kerry Ogden (23) – both from Merseyside – and their coach driver Colin Daulby (63) – from Warrington – are their names and this blog post is one that you all need to get involved in.
Michael and Kerry, amongst others, had spent their weekend at the Bestival Music Festival in the Isle of Wight. A standard weekend enjoying music with friends. A weekend that they should have returned from without any doubt.
However, on the A3 in Surrey, their coach driver Colin struggled to control the vehicle after a tyre blew out and made the coach veer left, mount the embankment, crash through a fence and into the tree.
It was later discovered that the tyre that had blown out was, in fact, TWENTY YEARS OLD.
Yes, you read that right. TWENTY. YEARS. OLD.
In fact, several of the six tyres on the coach were too old, one even dated back to 2001 and the spare tyre itself was 14 years old.
Recommendations from manufacturers that apply to cars only say that tyres shouldn’t be fitted if they are six years old. They also state that they should be replaced if they are ten years old. But these are just recommendations, not laws.
However, they are recommendations which beg the question why was a TWENTY-YEAR-OLD tyre even on a coach in the first place. If these rules apply to cars, why do they not seem to apply to much bigger vehicles?
This coach was operated by Mersey pride Travel, however Tracey and David Hannell (the father and daughter who ran the company) have now been banned from operating buses and coaches as a result of the Bestival Coach Crash, one that ultimately could have been avoided if they’d cared more about the lives that were on the coach, rather than the few quid they’d saved into their back pocket.
Tracey Hannell also was banned from working as a transport manager in the industry, in addition to having the firms licence revoked. She was fined £4,300 after admitting that she had allowed the use of a vehicle with a tyre with ply or cord exposed, and permitting the number of passengers to exceed the number of seats on the vehicle.
Now, I’m writing this today on the anniversary of the coach crash because this crash left a hole in so many people’s lives. And I myself have seen this hole in reality. I’ve seen how the death of one of these victims has impacted an entire community. I’ve read their mothers Facebook and Twitter posts with heart-wrenching words where you can so clearly see how even now, five years on, her life is massively impacted by the death of her son Michael Molloy.
Michael Molloy was a friend.
Michael’s grandad actually bets with my own dad.
Michael Molloy was a beautifully talented musician and shortly after his death, his song Rise and Fall was seen in the charts which you can find here.
However, this post is one that I want to use to inform you all of a campaign started by Michael’s mother Frances.
The name of the campaign is Tyred UK and you can follow them on all kinds of social media (I’ll leave links at the end of the post) or you can head to their website for more details – TYRED UK.
But while thousands are already signed up to back the campaign, they still need your help.
And you can make a big difference in three ways:
1. Register your support for the tyred campaign – help to make the Government listen.
2. When booking or travelling by coach ask your operator about their own tyre safety checks.
3. Before travelling take time to check the age of the tyres on your coach or car by using the ‘age decoder’.
You can also write to your own local MP and explain to them why this is such an important campaign that they need to get behind. With enough support, hopefully, we can change the law and prevent this from happening to anyone else.
OLD TYRES KILL.
With love (but no laughter today),
Hayley @ Spoonful of Scouse