Police Scotland is urging drivers to make a few simple checks on their vehicles before winter descends to reduce the risk of being involved in a breakdown or a collision due to vehicle defects such as weak batteries, faulty lighting, dirty windscreens and illegal tyres.
Last week, in a seven-day initiative (6-13 October 2014), Police Scotland road patrols conducted mobile and static checks across the country to raise awareness about road safety ahead of the approaching winter weather and shorter days.
Road Policing officers, working with community-based officers identified 122 vehicles being used with defects in the Aberdeen area. Of those, 84 drivers accepted warnings for minor defects and a further three drivers were issued with Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme (VDRS) Notices requiring the defect to be fixed. For the most serious defects, 35 drivers were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices or reported directly to the Procurator Fiscal for the offence.
Roads Policing Sergeant Ian Falconer said
This campaign has been aimed at providing helpful advice and educating drivers on driving safely in the challenging winter conditions. We all want to keep moving at this time of year and it is vital that any defects or faults are dealt with in the proper manner.
If anyone is unsure about a potential defect or unsure how to carry out safety checks, then we advise them to ask a friend or family member for assistance or visit a garage for a pre-winter inspection service.
The Get Ready for Winter Campaign has seen positive results nationwide and it was no different in Aberdeenshire, where a total of 83 vehicles with faults were found to be in use. Of those, 73 drivers were given warnings and four were handed VDRS Notices. A further six drivers were issues Fixed Penalty Notices or reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Inspector Ewan Innes, Roads Policing Inspector for Aberdeenshire and Moray, said
The safety of motorists and other road users is a high priority for Police Scotland and a few simple precautions taken by drivers to prepare their vehicles for the winter will reduce the risk of breakdowns and collisions that cause injuries and delays on our roads.
Motorists should also bear the conditions in mind and adjust their actions accordingly. During the recent road checks, Police were able to engage with motorists and encourage positive driver behaviour while checking the roadworthiness of their vehicles.
This nationwide winter road safety campaign has worked hand-in-hand with local initiatives in the North East – Operation Whitebeam in Aberdeen and Operation CEDAR in Aberdeenshire and Moray. These ongoing campaigns were launched to improve road safety across the region and encourage drivers to take more responsibility on the roads.