Winter checks: Police to stop drivers and cyclists in Hull and East Yorkshire
POLICE will be stopping drivers to check their cars can cope with the demands of winter driving
Humberside Police will be carrying out random stop-checks across Hull and the East Riding from today.
Drivers will have their tyres, lights, windscreens and brakes checked by trained vehicle examiners as part of a campaign to reduce accidents, which will run throughout January.
For the first time, cyclists will also be stopped and given advice by traffic officers.
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PC Keith Ward, casualty reduction officer for Hull, said: "We will be doing a series of random checks throughout the month to ensure cars are ready for any inclement weather.
"They are just little, simple checks that anybody can make but if you look at the bigger picture, they can be lifesaving."
PC Ward said officers will be concentrating on checking tyre tread depth, which should be more than 1.6mm.
He said: "What alarms me most is people seem to be running their tyres right down into the ground.
"That may be due to the recession and people not wanting to pay for new tyres, but they are your only contact with the road surface so it is very important.
"We have noticed people taking their tyres right down to the limit and beyond. It is crucial that tyres are changed if they are approaching the limit and are checked regularly for cuts, bulges or tears."
Drivers who are stopped will be given advice about driving in winter weather.
PC Ward said: "Although we haven't had any snow yet, I am sure there will be some in January or February so we will be advising drivers about adapting to those conditions.
"It is all about reminding people to stay safe if the weather does turn bad.
"We want to reduce the number of collisions, particularly those where people are killed or seriously injured."
Cyclists will also be stopped by officers who will advise them about using lights and wearing high-visibility clothing.
Inspector Roger Mitchell said: "Most crashes where someone is either killed or is seriously injured, occur when road conditions are slippery due to adverse weather, and because drivers do not adapt their speed appropriately.
"What we do find is that many motorists drive too fast and too close to vehicles in front of them when road conditions are slippery either because of rain, ice or snow.
"It takes a lot longer to stop when braking in the wet and drivers do not leave themselves a big enough gap to avoid the vehicle in front.
"This year we are not only stopping vehicles but also those people who use pedal cycles.
"Cyclists often do not have the correct high-visibility clothing on and the lights on their bicycles may not be visible to motorists which can result in a collision."