Out driving? Be careful, say Police

Devon & Cornwall Police is encouraging all road users to take extra care as the region’s road network becomes busier following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Police and highways authorities have been monitoring the impact of travel restrictions, imposed to help control the COVID-19 epidemic, since mid-March.

Speeding has been noted as an adverse response among a minority of drivers taking advantage of much emptier roads. Speed is a contributory factor to the number and severity of collisions and increases road safety concerns among communities.

And unfortunately, despite reduced traffic levels, Devon and Cornwall continued to experience serious injury collisions during the lockdown.

With road journeys expected to increase as people return to work and resume leisure activities – while maintaining the government’s essential social distancing measures – there are a number of simple ways motorists can keep safe, and protect the NHS:

–          Check both yourself and your vehicle are ready to return to the road.

–          Plan and prepare to make your journey safely, whether travelling by vehicle, bike, or on foot.

–          Be aware of changed conditions on the road, for example, reduced traffic, and consider how to deal with them.

Chief Inspector Steve Lenney, Head of Roads Policing in Devon and Cornwall said: “All motorists need to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, particularly if they have been out of use, and undertake basic safety checks, for example ensuring the correct vehicle tyre pressure and fluid levels.

“We should also look at our fitness to drive. Have new medical conditions emerged in the last few months? Are we on different medications? Are we properly rested and physically well enough to drive?

“Reduced traffic volume should not mean we lower our driving standards, for example driving faster or paying less attention. You should plan journeys sensibly, prepare your vehicle and yourself for the new conditions on the roads. This is especially critical for commercial vehicles.

“Pedestrians and cyclists have been encouraged to take to the roads in greater numbers in recent months, and they need to be aware of the growing number and speed of vehicles around them, while motorists need to be aware of the increase in more vulnerable road users.

“There has also been an increase in motorcycling, especially at weekends. Riders and drivers need to be alert to the risks associated with motorcycling.

“As we start to return to work, there will be information to help road users through this transition, but there will also be a clear focus by enforcement agencies on those who chose not to exercise consideration for the safety of other road users.

“Take extra care – continue to protect the NHS.”

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