‘Be prepared - don’t be a fatal statistic’

Police urge drivers to prepare for winter and drive appropriately for the conditions.

“Be sensible and prepared this winter - don’t be a statistic”.

That is the message from Devon and Cornwall Police to drivers in East Devon this winter.

This year there has been a small increase in the number of fatal collisions in Devon and Cornwall and police fear these figures could increase further if drivers do not take care on the region’s roads.

Inspector Richard Pryce, who has responsibility for policing Devon and Cornwall’s roads, said: “As winter approaches and the weather gets increasingly colder, drivers’ need to pay more attention to their driving.

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“With darker mornings and evenings now coming, driving to and from work presents greater challenges than previous months.

“I urge motorists to carry out the necessary checks and to modify their driving so it’s appropriate to the road’s conditions.

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“It’s important to arrive at your destination safely, so consider leaving a little more time for travelling. “Rushing your journey can lead to errors of judgement which is only a step away from a crash.”

Motorists are urged to ensure tyres are properly inflated and have the correct tyre tread, and leave adequate stopping distance when driving.

He added: “In these times of austerity, some will feel savings can be made with their motoring.

“Fuel efficient driving I would recommend, however don’t compromise with road safety. If for example your tyres or wipers need replacing, then do it.

“It’s not only your life, but your passengers lives which are at risk.”

Police say inappropriate speed, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, not wearing seat belts and distractions such as using mobile phones are the main causes of serious injuries and deaths on Britain’s roads.

Inspector Pryce said: “These are called the ‘fatal four’. In the vast majority of collisions, one of these is the primary factor.

“My advice is simple – if you’ve had a drink, don’t drive – make arrangements beforehand to get a lift or a taxi. “Always wear a seat belt and modify your speed – if you want to drive fast, don’t do it on public roads; book a track day.

“Drivers get distracted primarily by their mobile phone. Calling, texting or on-line social networking; its use in whatever manner is a lethal combination with driving.

“When caught, a driver knows they’re not making a mistake - the act is deliberate. Driver’s know it’s against the law and should not be surprised when they’re prosecuted. It means a fine and three points on your licence.

“The simple answer is, don’t be tempted and don’t be another fatal statistic.”

Devon and Cornwall Police will be stepping up efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on the road this winter with high profile enforcement of road traffic offences.

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