Blaenau Gwent road safety campaign shines headlights on vehicle safety and maintenance
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Officers spoke to 100 drivers in Blaenau Gwent between October – November to check their vehicles were fit for the road and share some winter maintenance advice.
PC Phillip Thomas said: “We’re committed to increasing road safety and have recently been talking to drivers about the steps they can take to ensure their vehicles are safe to be driven.
“Now that we’re in December, where icy roads, dark evenings and changeable driving conditions are commonplace, it’s important road users keep themselves and others safe by undertaking vital maintenance checks.”
During the campaign, officers checked the condition of tyres, headlights, external lights, fluid levels and whether drivers were wearing seatbelts.
As part of the operation, officers also gave out leaflets detailing the five main causes of casualties on UK roads: The Fatal Five*.
The most common issues officers found during their checks related to bald, or excessively worn, tyres and faulty headlights.
39 traffic offence reports (TORs) were issued throughout the campaign, including reports for driving without an MOT, driving while using a mobile phone or for using vehicles with defects.
Action was also taken against drivers using vehicles illegally.
19 vehicles were seized where drivers were found be driving without a licence or without valid insurance.
Additionally, three drivers were arrested on the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, while three were arrested on the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
PC Thomas added: “Everyone has a responsibility to ensure their vehicles are safe and fit for use on the road.
“With people visiting family and friends over the festive period, it’s important we take time to ensure the vehicle’s safe before setting off.
“Things like checking your tyre tread and pressure will make sure you’ve got enough traction and grip on icy, wet surfaces, while checking your lights not only improve your ability to see the road ahead – but also make you visible to others.
“As we approach Christmas, we’d also like to remind motorists of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink and drugs. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement and ability to react, putting yourself and others at risk. It is never acceptable.”
Road users can ensure they keep themselves, and others, safe by checking their speedometer regularly, looking out for signs and using the appropriate gear (using third gear in a 30mph zone, for example).
Failure to wear seatbelts
It is a legal requirement to wear a seatbelt in vehicles where one is fitted. The driver is also liable to prosecution if a child under 14 doesn’t wear one.
Use of a mobile phone
Drivers are advised to switch their phones off before setting off on their journeys. If caught using a mobile device while driving, you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice and receive a £200 fine and six points on your licence.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
The penalties for drink/drug driving are the same. You can receive a 21-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and a prison sentence. The legal limits can be found on gov.uk, but we recommend that, if you're drinking alcohol, let someone else do the driving.
Drivers should remain considerate and keep their concentration at all times.
Examples of dangerous driving include:
driving too close to the vehicle in front
driving at a speed not suited to the road and conditions