Winter roads can be killers - here’s help

As THE weather starts to affect Tayside, motorists are urged to think about their driving this winter to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users.

A new campaign is highlighting the dangerous combination of driving too fast for the conditions with worn tyres and travelling too close to the vehicle in front. These increase the stopping distance for a vehicle, especially during wet and wintry weather.

Following the successful campaign last winter, Tayside Safety Camera Partnership has joined forces again with Michelin, ATS Euromaster and Angus Tyres in asking people to check tyres, reduce speed and keep their distance when driving.

Free ice scrapers with a built-in tyre tread depth measure are being provided at branches of ATS Euromaster in Dundee, Perth and Forfar; and also Angus Tyres, in Arbroath, Brechin and Montrose.

Arron Duncan, partnership manager, said: “We are pleased to be able to continue the winter safety campaign with Michelin and Angus Tyres, and repeat the important message to motorists that they need to think about being able to stop safely this winter.

”Stopping distances are doubled in the wet and up to 10 times greater in icy conditions - and when you add speed to this, people are increasing the risk to themselves and other road users by not being able to stop in time.”

Wet roads, cold temperatures, snow and ice can all contribute to dangerous situations such as loss of grip, aquaplaning and longer stopping distances. It’s important that tyres are in good condition and drivers reduce their speed to suit road and weather conditions.

With many drivers experiencing significant problems during previous extreme winter conditions, this speed and tyre safety campaign aims to ensure that drivers think ahead and do the simple yet important things to increase their safety. The Safety Camera Partnership is reminding drivers about the importance of adequate tread depth and a reduction in speed, and how it can make the difference when needed.

Ian Peart, head of personnel at Michelin said: “Michelin are delighted to be able to work with Tayside Safety Camera Partnership on a second winter campaign. Tyres may not always be the first thing you think of when it comes to vehicle safety, but tyres form the only link between your vehicle and the road. Your safety (and that of your passengers) relies on an area of contact between the tyre and road surface which is no bigger than the palm of your hand – certainly something to bear in mind the next time you get behind the wheel!

“In addition to grip, tyres also support the weight of the vehicle and provide drive and directional control. Michelin supports the UN’s Decade of Road Safety. The Tayside Safety Camera Partnership’s tread depth and speed initiative is an excellent opportunity for motorists to check their tyres, which is especially important during the winter months.”

Drivers are responsible for both the condition of their tyres and the speed at which they choose to drive. Failure to comply with the speed limits and the legal minimum tyre tread depth can result in fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points, with potentially three points for each illegal tyre. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but drivers must be aware that wet grip deteriorates significantly at tread depths below 3mm.