With the clocks going back this Sunday (October 25) signalling the return of darker evenings, Northamptonshire Police is urging all road users and pedestrians to think road safety.
As mornings and early evenings get darker, there is often an increase in collisions on the UK’s roads, so officers are urging those who are usually out walking, cycling or driving at these times to take extra care.
The timely reminder has been issued as part of the Force’s road safety campaign – Operation Journey – which aims to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.
Between January and September this year, 19 people have been sadly killed and many more have been seriously injured in collisions across the county. Last year it was 42 - the highest number recorded in eight years.
Head of Operation Journey, Superintendent Tom Thompson of Northamptonshire Police’s Operations Team, said: “As a Force, one of our key policing priorities is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“Working with our partners from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, the clocks going back provides us with another opportunity to focus on this, and urge everyone to think road safety.
“With longer hours of darkness and winter weather, we would urge all road users to look out for pedestrians and cyclists. While we would ask those walking, running or cycling to wear bright or reflective clothing and have lights fitted to their bikes.
“Road safety is all of our responsibilities, and we would ask road users to think of their actions and modify their driving to cope with winter conditions. Similarly, pedestrians and cyclists need to be seen!”
To help keep you safe this winter, follow these road safety tips:
Pedestrians/runners or dog walkers
• Stick to well-lit areas and routes you are familiar with • Be alert - don’t listen to music or wear earphones • Make sure your phone is charged, but be careful if you are texting/chatting as this can be an unnecessary distraction and could attract thieves • Wear light colours and reflective/high visibility jackets on a dull/foggy day or in the evening/at night • Always choose a well-lit place when you cross the road • Remember it takes drivers longer to stop in wet or slippery conditions
• Wear light colours and reflective/high visibility jackets on a dull/foggy day or in the evening/at night • Check tyres, lights and reflectors on your bike before you set off • ALWAYS wear an approved cycle helmet
• Make sure all the lights on your vehicles are working • Make sure your tyres have sufficient tread, and are inflated to the correct pressure recommended by the manufacturer • Check your windscreen washer bottle is full and wipers are in good working order • Make sure your engine cooling system is topped up with anti-freeze • Ensure vehicle windows are clear of ice and mist before starting a journey