As we bask in almost tropical temperatures here in the North East of Scotland with even Storm Abigail mostly ignoring us, getting ready for winter is probably not at the top of your agenda. But with our extended warm period and delayed start to winter, now is the ideal time to ensure that you are ready for winter, when it does arrive.
Police Scotland has issued a warning to all road users, including pedestrians, to take extra care as winter approaches. The warning comes after the death of nine pedestrians and a pedal cyclist since the end of September.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, who has the lead for road safety with Police Scotland, said
Every road death is fully investigated and all contributory factors examined, however there is no single common factor to all of these tragedies.
Each death is one too many, and I can only imagine how devastating it must be for the families of those who have so tragically died. Recently we have seen victims as young as six and up to 82 years of age and as the days get shorter and the possibility of wintry conditions approaches, I am urging all road users, whether motorist, cyclist or pedestrian to take extra care.
Where there is a pedestrian crossing, please use it and consider the clothing you are wearing particularly when visibility is poor. Fluorescent materials are obviously the most effective in this respect.
Drivers should remember that some pedestrians need longer to cross the road, so they should be patient and ensure the crossing is clear before moving off. This is particularly important when the pedestrian is elderly or a child.
I am urging everyone to please take extra care and not to take risks, and remember that everyone has a responsibility not only for themselves, but every other road user.
Transport Scotland have useful winter travel advice on their website http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/ready-winter. Police Scotland produced a short video about how to check your car is ready for winter
For train users Scotrail have advice on how to keep up to date with train delays and cancellations during the winter https://www.scotrail.co.uk/winter and Stagecoach provide service updates on their website https://www.stagecoachbus.com/tis-service-updates.aspx
Ready Scotland have a short quiz on their site for you to check how ready you are for an emergency, whether that be weather related or some other kind of emergency.
You can take the quiz here http://www.readyscotland.org/readiness-quiz/ and check your readiness.