Get ready for winter weather

Sergeant Neil Grant Kincardine and Mearns Community Policing Team: Drive wisely to combat serious winter conditions
Sergeant Neil Grant Kincardine and Mearns Community Policing Team: Drive wisely to combat serious winter conditions

Kincardine and Mearns Sergeant Neil Grant wrote this article for the Mearns Leader this week about winter road safety.

My name is Neil Grant and for the last three years I have been a Sergeant within the Kincardine and Mearns Community Policing Team.

One of our priorities is to reduce the number of deaths and casualties on our roads, Operation CEDAR was created to tackle this priority. As part of this operation we have arranged a local Winter Road Safety initiative which will be running throughout November 2015.

Local Officers will be conducting static and mobile roads checks in a number of locations in the Kincardine and Mearns area where the objective is to ensure that vehicles being used on our roads are ready for the more demanding weather conditions that winter will provide. We will predominately be looking at the condition of tyres and lights as well as other construction and use requirements.

Can I just remind drivers that the minimum tyre tread depth for cars and light goods vehicles is 1.6mm across three quarters of the tyre width and 1 mm for motorcycles and larger commercial vehicles.

These are the minimum requirements and personally I wouldn’t risk my safety or that of my family and friends by driving a car with worn tyres as low as 1.6 mm.

Your tyres are the only parts of the vehicle that make contact with the road and in my opinion they are worth your investment at this time of year. I would also recommend the use of winter tyres which provide better grip in colder conditions.

Lights are another important aspect in keeping safe on the roads and are relatively easy to check. It’s not uncommon to see a number of cars with lights out during the colder weather.

Carrying out regular inspections to ensure your lights are working may avoid you being pulled over by the police. In the recent foggy conditions I think we can all recognise the importance of well-maintained vehicle headlights when visibility is impaired.

We will also be targeting poor driver behaviour such as dangerous and careless driving, not wearing seatbelts, using mobile telephones and speeding.

Over the years I have often been met by the query as to why the Police always took the easy option of prosecuting the speeding motorist. This was always followed by comments similar to ‘it’s driver error that causes collisions not speeding’. I always tended to agree however I would add that hitting an object below the speed limit was a lot less painful than hitting an object when travelling above it.

It’s simple the faster speed, the greater the energy involved and therefore the more severe the injury sustained.

I would urge everyone to adhere to the speed limit and always consider the driving conditions as well to ensure maximum safety.

It is my sincerest hope that this initiative will encourage everyone in our community to contribute to keeping our roads safer and protect lives. All the best and ‘Safe Driving’.