Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Preparing for Winter Driving

Although the sun is still shining, the chilly mornings are starting to creep in. Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, has put together some tips to prepare you for the colder weather that’s nearing us.

  • It’s important to keep the windscreen clean. Try to get scratches, abrasions and chips fixed as colder temperatures can make the damage worse. Keep the windscreen washer topped up with a more concentrated screen wash mix to ensure it doesn’t freeze in action. And don’t forget your de-icer
  • Check your tyres. The legal limit of a tread depth may be 1.6mm but anything under 3mm will see a potential fall off in grip and braking performance. If long-term cold weather is forecast, and you can afford it, invest in a set of winter tyres approved by your car manufacturer. Don’t follow urban driver myths of reducing the tyre pressure to get more grip –  it simply doesn’t work
  • Set up a pre-winter check list. List things that need to be checked such as the car battery, bulbs, wiper blades and electrics. You don’t want to be stranded in a cold car in the middle of night waiting for the recovery team to get you up and running again. Take a look at our set of tips of the eight essentials to carry in your vehicle
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. It may be surprising but too many drivers dress based on a working car heater. If it breaks or you are stranded you can easily be caught cold
  • Start to plan for the really bad weather with a survival kit in the boot. Spare clothes, a torch, mobile phone charger, some emergency rations such as water, chocolate and a tow rope and shovel to help yourself and others.

Richard said: “Winter is unpredictable but Highways England and your local authority are already planning for it by building up their salt stocks and getting the snow clearing equipment out of storage. If they are getting ready then why shouldn’t you? With a little bit of preparation you can avoid getting stuck and adding to the problems that bad weather can bring.”

 

IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com

Clean Your Windscreen!

A traffic officer has warned of the dangers of driving unroadworthy vehicles after a woman was convicted of killing her disabled cousin.

Hayley Sterna, 51, was driving a Peugeot van south along the B1052, Brinkley Road, at Westley Waterlees, on 4 January when she hit Chris Clements who was riding in a wheelchair close to the road.

Mr Clements, 40, of Beech Croft, Brinkley, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but died the following morning.

Following a police investigation, Sterna, of Braefield, Somersham, admitted causing death by careless driving because she had driven with a dirty windscreen, causing her to be dazzled by sunlight.

However, she was yesterday (29 August) found not guilty of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving after a jury at Cambridge Crown Court concluded her driving had not fallen “far below” the standard expected.

Today, she was sentenced at the same court to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, disqualification from driving for two years with an extended retest and 200 hours' community service.

Sergeant Simon Goldsmith, who investigated, said: “This case shows the potentially devastating consequences of driving a vehicle that is not fit for the road.

“It would not have taken long to clean the windscreen and replenish her washer fluid but Sterna made the tragic decision not to.

“Driving is something many of us do every day and it can be easy to forget we are in charge of a potentially lethal weapon. It’s crucial everyone regularly checks their vehicle is roadworthy, particularly during autumn and winter months when road conditions are likely to be worse.”

During the trial, the court heard Mr Clements was walking his dog when the collision took place at about 2.25pm.

Forensic collision investigations showed Sterna had not cleared her windscreen during her journey, having run out of screen wash.

She also failed to clean the screen or add screen wash despite having a two-and-a-half hour break and after the collision she said she had been dazzled by sunlight through the windscreen.

Speeding Fines

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite has welcomed new speeding fines for excessive speeding. Under new guidelines, fines for drivers caught doing 51mph in a 30mph zone or 101mph on a motorway will start from 150% of weekly income, rather than the previous level of 100%. Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “Every death or life changing injury which happens as a result of speeding is one too many. These incidents have devastating consequences for the victims and their friends and families, and the community. I am fully supportive of the new fines.”

Is a vehicle taxed and insured?

Now that the tax disc is no more it can be difficult to check if a vehicle is taxed.

Click to check whether a vehicle is taxed via a government site here.

Click to check whether your own vehicle is insured here

Click to check whether someone else's vehicle is insured in the event of an accident here

 

 

Parking Issues

This photograph, taken by Ken Creed, demonstrate how pressure on limited parking spaces can lead to drivers leaving their vehicles in locations which cause danger to others.

 

 

What does the law say

Read this article for information on parking law. 

All about Parking