Joint mission for winter road safety

AS THE wintry weather starts to affect Tayside, motorists are being urged to think about their driving this winter to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users.

The campaign is highlighting the dangerous combination of driving too fast for the conditions with worn tyres and travelling too close to the vehicle in front. These factors increase the stopping distance for a vehicle, especially during wet and wintry weather.

Following on from the successful campaign last winter, Tayside Safety Camera Partnership has again joined forces with Michelin, ATS Euromaster and Angus Tyres in asking people to check their tyres, reduce their speed and keep their distance when driving in the region.

Free ice scrapers with a built in tyre tread depth measure are being provided at branches of ATS Euromaster, in Dundee, Perth and Forfar and also at Angus Tyres, in Arbroath, Brechin and Montrose, to aid people in clearing their windscreens and checking their tread. Information is also being displayed to remind drivers of the simple actions that will increase their safety.

Arron Duncan, partnership manager said: “We are pleased to be able to continue the winter safety campaign with Michelin and Angus Tyres, and repeat the important message to motorists that they need to think about being able to stop safely this winter.

“Driving too fast for the weather conditions, and driving too close to the vehicle in front with low tread on their tyres will not give drivers time to react and stop safely.

”Stopping distances are doubled in the wet and are up to 10 times greater in icy conditions and when you add speed to this, then people are increasing the risk to themselves and other road users by not being able to stop in time.”

Wet roads, cold temperatures, snow and ice can all contribute to potentially dangerous situations such as loss of grip, aquaplaning and longer stopping distances. It’s important that tyres are in good condition and drivers reduce their speed to suit the road and weather conditions.

With many drivers experiencing significant problems during previous extreme winter conditions, this speed and tyre safety campaign aims to ensure that drivers think ahead and do the simple yet important things to increase their safety. The Safety Camera Partnership is reminding drivers about the importance of adequate tread depth and a reduction in speed and how it can make the difference when needed.

Ian Peart, head of personnel at Michelin commented: “Michelin are delighted to be able to work with Tayside Safety Camera Partnership on a second winter campaign. Tyres may not always be the first thing you think of when it comes to vehicle safety, but tyres form the only link between your vehicle and the road.

“In fact your safety (and that of your passengers) actually relies on an area of contact between the tyre and road surface which is no bigger than the palm of your hand – certainly something to bear in mind the next time you get behind the wheel!”

Drivers are responsible for both the condition of their tyres and the speed at which they choose to drive. Failure to comply with the speed limits and the legal minimum tyre tread depth can result in fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points, with potentially three points for each illegal tyre. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm, but drivers need to be aware that wet grip deteriorates significantly at tread depths below 3 mm.