Focus on motorists’ safety over the winter

Defective tyres, speeding drivers, passengers in boots and even a baby in a Moses basket all featured during Tayside Police’s recent weekend focus on the roadworthiness of vehicles.

Officers also responded to a call of a collision on an unlit rural road between a car and a darkly dressed pedestrian who was under the influence of alcohol.

Tayside Police, along with other Scottish Police Forces, were involved in the Get Ready For Winter Campaign, which coincided with the end of British Summer Time.

It provided an opportunity to emphasise important road safety messages to all road users at a time of year when road and weather conditions begin to deteriorate.

As well as enforcing road traffic legislation, officers also took the opportunity to share advice and information with all road users in respect of being fully prepared for the onset of winter.

The weekend’s incidents highlighted that people are not taking appropriate or adequate steps to ensure their safety, or that of others, on the road, irrespective of the time of year and the onset of winter.

Sergeant Watson Fraser, Tayside Police HQ road policing unit said: “The incidents police responded to, whilst isolated, clearly illustrate that not all road users are adhering to the advice that has been given.

“Not making an effort to be visible to traffic when it’s dark means you risk serious injury or death.

“At the very least pedestrians should wear bright clothing or carry a torch or, better still avoid walking on unlit roads during the hours of darkness if they possibly can.

“Drivers must ensure that their vehicles are maintained in good and efficient working order.

“This includes tyres, lights and brakes. Daily or at least weekly checks will ensure that your vehicle is safe and legal each time you take it out. This will help to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

“Whilst the campaign was primarily aimed at providing education and advice to the road user, there were still individuals who flouted the law and who were therefore dealt with accordingly.

“Carrying passengers in the boot of a vehicle is dangerous and demonstrates a clear lack of concern for their safety and for the safety of any passengers travelling in front of them.

“In the event of a collision there is no doubt that these individuals would be thrown forward and potentially cause significant injury or even death to themselves or anyone else they come into contact with.

“Of even greater concern is that a driver was prepared to carry an 11-week-old baby on the rear sear of a car.

“The consequences of this action, should the worst happen, do no bear thinking about.”

All road users need to consider the impact their actions might have on other people. Everyone has a part to play in ensuring their own safety and the safety of others through the winter months and beyond.