Here's some sad news for lower-income folks who like to roll the dice by driving around town on dangerous tires.
The self-regulating, free market-loving Oklahoma legislature has introduced a bill that will make it illegal for an Oklahoma business to sell cheap, used, tires down worn to 2/32nds of an inch to consumers.
The move was applauded by KOCO Meteorologist Jonathan Conder, who hopes this move will drastically reduce the number of people he will need to save during a snowstorm. Now if only the legislature can ban fools driving with gardening clogs, Conder will be a happy man.
Under Oklahoma law, it is illegal for you to travel on used tires, but it is not illegal to sell those particular tires. Now, a state law maker wants to change that.According to the Rubbers Manufacturers Association, tires worn to 2/32nds of an inch are considered ‘bald and dangerous.’
Rubbers Manufacturers Association? Bald and Dangerous? 2/32nds of an inch? Am I reading about tires or snippets from Joe Dorman's new book of erotic autobiographical fan fiction "The Watermelon Prince: Erotic Tales From The Campaign Trail."
Back to the story:
While it is illegal in Oklahoma to drive on tires that have a tread less than that, it is not illegal to sell them.Representative Pat Ownbey says his bill would stop the sale of those rugged tires.“They don’t even realize those tires are illegal. They are unsafe for their families,” Rep. Ownbey said.
That makes sense. If something is illegal and unsafe to own, you probably shouldn't be able to buy it at a store on South Shields. You should have to go through the untaxed black market like everyone else.
As expected, members of the powerful Oklahoma Used Tire Dealers Association are up in arms over the proposal.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous not to be able to sale somebody a tire, especially when they are in need,” Lee Southard, with Tom’s Tires, said.Southard argues there is a tire for every situation, and using a tire with low tread is better than being stranded on the side of the road with a blowout.“If that’s your daughter, would you want her stuck on the side of the road or would you want her safe at home with a 2/32nd tread tire,” Southard asked. “ I’d take the tire.”
Yeah, that's an extremely logical statement. It does a great job ignoring that the daughter was probably stranded on the road because she bought a cheap, used set of wheels from Tom's Tires.
Here's a better hypothetical question:
"If that’s your daughter, would you want her safe at home or experiencing a blowout while driving 75 on the Broadway Extension because some jackass from Tom's Tires sold her a dangerous used, 2/32nd tread tire?”
Oddly enough, I'd still take the tire. Of course, that's because I'm cheap and morbid.
The final line in the KFOR report cracks:
Representative Ownbey says tires with below a 2/32nd tread could still be sold for “farm use only”.
That's hysterical. I knew there had to be a Republican catch to this. If you're poor and can't afford new tires, sorry, your SOL, but if you're a farmer who owns a business, come on down! The worst thing that will happen is that a truck tire will blowout, causing an accident, and possibly injuring one of your minimum wage farm hands. That's okay. With our workmans comp laws, you won't have to pay too much. Plus, maybe Jonathan Conder will be lurking in the shadows, waiting to rescue them.