Safe winter driving campaign backed

ROAD safety officials from Northumberland are supporting the launch of an awareness campaign to promote safe winter driving.

Northumberland County Council has joined forces with Road Safety GB North East, the organisation representing local authority road safety officers across the region, to issue some timely advice ahead of the snow and ice that is likely to affect roads at various times over the next few months.

Les Gilbert, the county road safety officer, said: “The biggest fear of most motorists is skidding on ice in freezing winter conditions.

“The best way of avoiding a skid is keeping your speed right – slow but steady speed, not too fast so that you risk losing control but not so slow that you risk losing momentum when you need it – and braking, steering and accelerating as smoothly as possible.

“Always start gently from a stationary position and avoid high engine revs.

“If you get yourself into a skid, the main thing to remember is to take your foot off the accelerator and steer.

“Never use the brake as this may lock up your wheels, resulting in total loss of control.”

Drivers are being advised to protect their cars for the winter and to prepare properly for a trip, and a list of winter driving tips has been issued.

Tips include carrying a shovel, getting cars checked out to make sure they are fit for winter, making sure mobile phones are topped up, having a survival pack in the car and adjusting driving styles.

Coun Isabel Hunter, executive member for infrastructure and environment, said: “By following these tips – many of which involve simple, basic tasks – drivers can minimise the risks they face and improve their chances of driving incident-free during the winter.”

For further information on safe winter driving and all other road safety-related matters, motorists should call 01670 533939.