24/10/2014 - Permalink

Road users urged to take care as darker nights draw in

Related topics: Community / My area / Partner organisations

News from our partners Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia and Warwickshire

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia and Warwickshire is reminding all road users to take extra care on the roads as the evenings draw in and the clocks change this weekend.

As nights get darker it is increasingly difficult for motorists to see other road users.  Pedestrians are being encouraged to think about their presence on the roads and wear high visibility clothing and reflective material, and to always use pedestrian crossings where possible.  Cyclists should also think about their clothing and ensure their bike is in good working condition and carries front and rear lights.

Motorists are being urged to look carefully for other road users with the nights drawing in, and to ensure that their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition and basic checks are undertaken to prepare their vehicle for the winter months.  Among other things, motorists should check their brakes, tyres, oil, water and antifreeze, and check lights are operating and are in good working order.  As the weather turns colder ensure your screen wash is topped up and wipers are in good working order.  Road salt and spray can obscure a windscreen in seconds.

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia and Warwickshire, said:

“Nationally, road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker nights and worsening weather conditions.  These conditions affect all road users, but especially children, older people, cyclists and motorcyclists.  As the nights draw in it is important that all road users reassess their journeys and account for the darker evenings.  We are advising all motorists to check their vehicles, and for pedestrians and cyclists to ensure they are visible to other road users.”

Claire Wild, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“It seems simple, but it’s important not to get a little complacent as the daylight hours lower.  We normally take extra care driving late at night, but it’s important to take that care when driving at 5pm in winter too, perhaps even more so as the roads will be busier.”

Motorists are also being reminded to take particular care on rural roads this autumn, and take extra caution where there is mud on the roads.

Anna Higgins added:

“We appreciate that during this time of year farmers have to increasingly use the region’s roads to transport their crops.  During this time, we’re advising all motorists to take extra care on rural roads and be aware of potential mud on the roads.  Excess mud is a danger to cars, motorbikes and cyclists, can change the way a vehicle handles, and can cause skidding, especially in wet conditions.

“If you see a ‘mud on the road’ sign please take this seriously, drive with caution and treat this the same way that you would with icy or slippery roads.”

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Further information

The Safer Roads Partnership is part of West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, and works in partnership with the four local highway authorities in West Mercia (Shropshire Council, Herefordshire Council, Telford and Wrekin Council and Worcestershire County Council); Warwickshire County Council; the Highways Agency; HM Courts Service – West Mercia; Fire & Rescue Services for Hereford & Worcester, Shropshire and Warwickshire; and West Mercia Cluster of Primary Care Trusts.