Police issue winter driving warning

With clocks going back this weekend and the impending arrival of darker evenings and winter weather, police are urging all road users in Ballymoney to take extra care and drive according to the conditions.

Constable Syd Henry said: “Driving too quickly for the road conditions is the one of the biggest causes of road collisions during the autumn and winter.

“Already this year 46 people have lost their lives in road traffic collisions on our roads in Northern Ireland and many more have been seriously injured. The sad reality is that many of these deaths and serious injuries could have been avoided, he said.

“Winter weather, the low setting sun and extended hours of darkness can all lead to treacherous driving conditions which also impact on a driver’s ability to judge distance and speed, so we all need to take even greater care on the roads.

Stopping distances increase greatly when weather conditions are poor, so slow down and leave a bigger gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.”

Constable Henry urged all road users to check their vehicles to ensure that there are no defects. “Tyres must be in good condition and meet the legal requirement of 1.6mm. A defective tyre at best could lead to a £60 fine and three penalty points on your licence, at worst it could result in catastrophic consequences.

“All lights must be clean, working and correctly adjusted. Remember to use dipped headlights when driving in poor weather. Our simple advice is that if your vehicle wipers are switched on, so should your dipped headlights.

If you have fog lights, use them at times of reduced visibility, but remember it is illegal to use these lights at other times. Defective lights, or illegal use of fog lights, can result in a £30 fixed penalty notice.

Windscreen wipers should be in good condition and the washer reservoir should be regularly topped up with a good windscreen wash solution and all windows must be clear of frost before setting off.

Constable Henry went on to remind road users to make extra effort to look for children, pedestrians and cyclists,.

“If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wore a seatbelt and drove with more care and attention then fewer people would be killed or seriously injured on our roads,” Constable Henry concluded.