Winter campaign promotes the importance of road safety in the north east

Stuart SmithNews

As we approach winter, days are becoming shorter and the weather is turning grey, which means an increasing number of north east residents will be travelling or commuting in potentially hazardous conditions.

Pedestrian casualties are at their highest during the winter season, which brings a heightened need for road safety. Road accidents during winter can be caused by minimal daylight, poor weather conditions, and a high volume of people travelling to town for holiday shopping and evenings out.

This winter, Getabout and Road Safety North East Scotland (RSNES) is promoting the importance of road safety and encourage residents in the north east to take appropriate safety measures when travelling in the hours of darkness.

Many road accidents are caused by reduced visibility and a lack of awareness in pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists. Getabout encourages all travellers to make themselves visible in poor travelling conditions and remain aware of other road users.

There are many actions you can take to minimise risks during winter. Pedestrians should remember the basics of road safety: always find a safe place to cross, look both ways before crossing, and wear visible and reflective clothing when possible.

As a driver, all the lights on your vehicle should be working so you can alert others of your actions on the road. Drive slowly, especially in adverse weather conditions, and always check for pedestrians at crossings.

Nestrans will be advertising the winter road safety campaign through radio adverts and posters in bus shelters.

The winter-long campaign aligns with #LightUp, a national event hosted by Cycle Law Scotland and Police Scotland. #LightUp aims to educate the public and create awareness on the legal requirements and responsibilities of travelling during reduced daylight.

Cyclists are required by law to have lights on their bicycles during the hours of darkness, otherwise they could face a £50 fine. For this reason, Cycle Law Scotland have been supplying local cyclists with free bike lights to ensure their safe travel during mornings and evenings. The lights were passed out at various #LightUp events in North East Scotland this week.

When travelling on the road, cyclists should follow the same rules as motor vehicles. Always use hand signals and wear high-vis and reflective clothing when cycling in the dark. Cars might not always see you, so it’s important to stay alert and avoid cycling in the blind spots of vehicles in the event of a sudden turn or lane change.