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jimwise68

the good old protruding wheel issue

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Hi everyone, newbie here and my first post is bound to be met with a few despondent sighs.

My son got pulled the other night due to his wheels protruding past the wheel arches. I've searched the net and it seems a bit of a hot topic but never a set in stone answer to the question.

I've read that the tread can protrude a certain amount, i've also read that it can't, I've read the tyres can be stretched to the wheel rim, but also read that the wheels can't protrude, which contradicts the stretch issue.

Can someone shed some light for me please as there seems to be many people throwing their two pennies worth in.

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im not a cop but as far as im aware the wheels cant go out past the arches as they could catch someone/injure them . same i believe goes with exhausts cant go to far out past the back of the car as small child could touch and get burnt as obviously the metal heats up..

i could be wrong obviously but sure someone will inform you or gove their two pence worth.

tell him to get a wide arch kit on his motor to cover the wheels ;-)

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The offences sounds like one of 'dangerous condition' which kinda covers those conditions that may cause injury/danger to other road users. There is not set definition that a protrusion (for example only) of say 10mm is ok and 11mm is not. Amongst other aspects is the question of would you look at it and suck your teeth and go "mmmmmm twit" or such like. If so that sounds like naught arches. A quick check for you might be to get a straight edge and run it down the wheel arch from top to bottom so the straight edge remains on the wheel arch to the left/right of the tyre. The more the straight edge has to 'bend' around the tyre or it moves away, then the more opportunity there is for entanglement with other road users. If said son says 'hey, that's not fair I am going to put wider arches on next week' that is code for saying 'I used the car before I should have done and now paying the price.

Just trying to keep it grounded in the loose explanation

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dangerous condition fits nicely. it does beg the question why the wheels are protruding anyway,

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Reg 100. The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

(3) No motor vehicle or trailer shall be used for any purpose for which it is so unsuitable as to cause or be likely to cause danger or nuisance to any person in or on the vehicle or trailer or on a road.

When the vehicle is on the motorway and its raining the tyres will cause excessive spray which can cause nuisance and danger to other road users. In relation to wheels if they are protruding they will fail an MOT.

Edited by BigglesVII

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I would ha e thought that last post is more for HGV's as they have to have spray suppression and failing an mot does not make automatically make an offence.

I don't know the act/section or exact wording except to say you can have your vehicle prohibited if the wheels/tyres extend beyond the bodywork so it must be an offence. I don't have the books handy to look.

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thanks for all the replies.

This is where i see the grey area as some say its for rain spray, so surely that must mean that the tread only has to be inside the bodywork and some say its for the danger of snagging a passerby, but surely then a car in itself would be a danger and wing mirrors protrude further than the main body of the car. If the argument is due to the fact that rubber is more grabby than a smooth wing mirror then what about when a car is turning at a junction and the whole wheel sticks out? Surely you have more chance of grabbing someone during this time than simply driving down a road?

Not meaning to be facetious im just trying to get my head around the whole issue. So I know for definite what the legalities are.

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thanks for all the replies.

This is where i see the grey area as some say its for rain spray, so surely that must mean that the tread only has to be inside the bodywork and some say its for the danger of snagging a passerby, but surely then a car in itself would be a danger and wing mirrors protrude further than the main body of the car. If the argument is due to the fact that rubber is more grabby than a smooth wing mirror then what about when a car is turning at a junction and the whole wheel sticks out? Surely you have more chance of grabbing someone during this time than simply driving down a road?

Not meaning to be facetious im just trying to get my head around the whole issue. So I know for definite what the legalities are.

there is another very good thread a few down that covers all this. from memory, the wheel can protrude as can the tyre but not the treaded part

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there is another very good thread a few down that covers all this.

Just search "protruding" and you will get eight threads about the same subject

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thanks for all the replies.

This is where i see the grey area as some say its for rain spray, so surely that must mean that the tread only has to be inside the bodywork and some say its for the danger of snagging a passerby, but surely then a car in itself would be a danger and wing mirrors protrude further than the main body of the car. If the argument is due to the fact that rubber is more grabby than a smooth wing mirror then what about when a car is turning at a junction and the whole wheel sticks out? Surely you have more chance of grabbing someone during this time than simply driving down a road?

Not meaning to be facetious im just trying to get my head around the whole issue. So I know for definite what the legalities are.

The joy of dangerous condition is it is not a definition of the vehicle condition in itself, but an encompassing one of the various other offences and overlap as well.

The wing mirrors is a bit of a poor example unless you were to include that they were fixed and could not be moved if entangled to a pedestrian for example - thats why all mirrors are spring loaded etc.

For your example the main roll of 'mudflaps'/wheel arch is to dissipate the spray, but when you think about it, they also help deflect the pedestrian (for example) away fro the rotating tyre/wheel. Let that tyre/wheel extend too far and the risk of increasing teh injury potential becomes too great and enter an offence. Perhaps the subtle difference between the steered front wheels and back is that there is something quite simle that can be done to make the rear wheels safer.

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Protruding wheels themselves is a slight grey area as there is a very limited amount of room for negotiation.

Reg 63 Con and Use 1986


Motor car to be equipped with wings or other similar fitting to catch SO FAR AS PRACTICABLE mud or water thrown up by the rotation of the wheels or tracks

If you add a far larger wheel then I doubt you'll have a defence because it was practicable for you to leave the correct sized wheels on the vehicle.

'Stretch Tryres', ie tyres which are far too small for the rims and stretched onto them in some strange attempt to look good are a massive no no. They should be treated as defective tyres, dangerous condition and quite possibly a prohibition. Tyres are constructed to be safely used on the right size wheel, driving a tyre on a stretched and distorted side wall is asking for trouble.

Reg 27 Con and Use 1986

27.—(1) Save as provided in paragraphs (2), (3) and (4), a wheeled motor vehicle or trailer a wheel of which is fitted with a pneumatic tyre shall not be used on a road, if—

(a)the tyre is unsuitable having regard to the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is being put or to the types of tyres fitted to its other wheels;

h)the tyre is not maintained in such condition as to be fit for the use to which the vehicle or trailer is being put or has a defect which might in any way cause damage to the surface of the road or damage to persons on or in the vehicle or to other persons using the road.

I'm sure your son is a reasonable young man and hopefully he will see from this incident the responsibility which comes with driving. He needs to be responsible for his vehicle and make sure it doesn't pose a risk to others. Stretch Tyres do. Having wheels to big for the car also often does.

Can he turn the steering wheel fully and not have his tyres pushing against the wheel arches? Hopefully he can because one day he might need to be able to turn to avoid something and if he can't because he's got wheels which are far too large it will be a horrible day in the coroners court when everyone knows how easily a tragic incident could have been avoided.

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Protruding wheels themselves is a slight grey area as there is a very limited amount of room for negotiation.

Reg 63 Con and Use 1986

Motor car to be equipped with wings or other similar fitting to catch SO FAR AS PRACTICABLE mud or water thrown up by the rotation of the wheels or tracks

If you add a far larger wheel then I doubt you'll have a defence because it was practicable for you to leave the correct sized wheels on the vehicle.

'Stretch Tryres', ie tyres which are far too small for the rims and stretched onto them in some strange attempt to look good are a massive no no. They should be treated as defective tyres, dangerous condition and quite possibly a prohibition. Tyres are constructed to be safely used on the right size wheel, driving a tyre on a stretched and distorted side wall is asking for trouble.

Reg 27 Con and Use 1986

27.—(1) Save as provided in paragraphs (2), (3) and (4), a wheeled motor vehicle or trailer a wheel of which is fitted with a pneumatic tyre shall not be used on a road, if—

(a)the tyre is unsuitable having regard to the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is being put or to the types of tyres fitted to its other wheels;

h)the tyre is not maintained in such condition as to be fit for the use to which the vehicle or trailer is being put or has a defect which might in any way cause damage to the surface of the road or damage to persons on or in the vehicle or to other persons using the road.

I'm sure your son is a reasonable young man and hopefully he will see from this incident the responsibility which comes with driving. He needs to be responsible for his vehicle and make sure it doesn't pose a risk to others. Stretch Tyres do. Having wheels to big for the car also often does.

Can he turn the steering wheel fully and not have his tyres pushing against the wheel arches? Hopefully he can because one day he might need to be able to turn to avoid something and if he can't because he's got wheels which are far too large it will be a horrible day in the coroners court when everyone knows how easily a tragic incident could have been avoided.

Znra251

thank you for your reply. That really seems to have covered every aspect of what I was looking for.

Yes my son is a reasonable young man, but like most of our youth are into their cars and modifying and making them look how they want them to. We have all been there and done it, just seems they have more to choose from now than when I was younger (louvred rear blinds, wheel arches and nudge bars for minis).

Its that when most of them are pulled for their lowered cars with larger wheels it seems as though the reasons behind the pull are all quite varied and never seem to be concrete enough as to what the problem is.

So thank you once again for your reply.

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But we dont need a specific reason to "pull" you.

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"Pull" was quoted simply as a figure of speech.

Under what circumstances do you stop someone then? Surely there must be a reason behind your decision.

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If they have a light out, driving badly, subject of a lookout etc then yes that would be a specific reason, but Sect 163, Road Traffic Act gives an officer in uniform the power to stop with no reason.

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