The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) and Transport Scotland are asking drivers this weekend if they are Ready For Winter?
ACPOS, is co-ordinating a weekend of activity to highlight the dangers associated with using the roads during the winter months.
The campaign, which is supported by all eight Scottish Police Forces, will be held during the weekend 28 to 30 October to coincide with the end of British Summer Time.
Assistant Chief Constable Gordon Samson, Central Scotland Police, who leads on public reassurance for ACPOS Road Policing Business Area, said
As we are all aware the Scottish weather can be unpredictable at times and drivers can encounter a wide variety of different driving conditions during a single journey. As was highlighted during the extreme weather we encountered last year, effective planning plays a huge part in everyone getting safely to their destination.
This campaign is not solely directed at motorists, but everyone using our roads. Unfortunately, I know from experience that pedestrians, cyclists and joggers are involved in serious road accidents during the winter months.
Police forces throughout the country will be working with various road safety groups and organisations to offer free advice to road users. Local media should be checked for information.
As the days become shorter and temperatures begin to drop, motorists must ensure that their vehicles receive a winter check and are properly maintained. For cyclists, visibility is a key issue and they too must ensure that they can be seen. Joggers and pedestrians are encouraged to wear high visibility garments and think carefully about the routes chosen.
I would encourage everyone to follow the simple safety guide that is linked at the bottom of this article and if you become caught in any major traffic congestion please re-tune your radio to a local station where you will receive the latest travel information.
A set of clear and concise messages to warn of severe weather ahead are to be given to motorists this winter.
The messages have been written by ACPOS and Transport Scotland as part of nationally agreed plans to ensure the safety of road users and to keep Scotland moving in extreme winter conditions.
Over the coming months when there are weather related issues for the roads network a variety of methods, including websites, social networks, variable road signs and media broadcasts will be used to get the messages across.
Road users will in the most extreme conditions be advised to “Avoid Road Travel” and warned that any attempt to use certain routes may result in delays of several hours. Down the scale will be advice such as “Winter Weather – Plan Ahead” where there is a chance of disruption and preparations should be made.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said
Even the most experienced motorists can find themselves getting into difficulties during severe weather but there are lots of simple things that we can do to make our journeys safer and less stressful over the winter months.
This week, the Scottish Government launched a national public awareness campaign – Ready for Winter? – in partnership with the British Red Cross to encourage families, businesses and communities to prepare for winter.
The Transport Scotland website has information for motorists on how they can prepare for driving during wintry weather and I would encourage drivers to familiarise themselves with this advice now. This includes measures such as checking your route for delays before you set out and keeping an emergency kit in your car with items such as a shovel, jump leads and a fully charged mobile phone.
Severe weather inevitably causes disruption but we can all play our part to minimise this disruption and ensure that when we do need to travel, we do so safely and are prepared to alter our plans and routes if required.
You can read the road safety guide provided by ACPOS and other useful sites by using the links below