Tyres key to getting to grips with winter roads - Police

POLICE in Ballymena and the wider ‘H’ District are reminding motorists that good tyres have a vital part to play in road safety as the nights draw in and the weather worsens.

Local officers, accompanied by qualified tyre technicians from the Northern Ireland Tyre Safety Association, have been stopping motorists as part of the annual tyre safety campaign, which began last Monday.

Although tyres are the main focus of the operation, police officers have also been advising motorists about winter driving safety.

Roads Policing Constable Syd Henry said: “So far this autumn, road conditions have generally been good, but now is the time for drivers to prepare their vehicles for frost, heavy rain and snow. This means checking tyres, windscreen washers, wipers and lights.

“Tyres, in particular, must be in good condition having at least 1.6mm of tread to ensure a good grip on the road, and to ensure this remains the case, drivers should regularly check the tread depth or ask a dealer to do it for them.

“As part of Tyre Safety week, police patrols will be stopping and checking vehicles for any defects, and if found, drivers will be dealt with by way of advice and warning, the issuing of an order to produce vehicles with replaced tyres, the issue of fixed penalty notices or through prosecution.

“With regard to keeping the screen clear motorists should be reminded to continually top up their levels especially windscreen washer bottles,” said Constable Henry.

He added: “At best, a defective tyre will result in a fixed penalty of £60 and three penalty points. At worst, a defective tyre could result in a vehicle losing grip causing a collision killing or seriously injuring someone.

“Lights on vehicles need to be checked regularily and kept clean. Motorists should use dipped headlights not sidelights during lighting up times and fog lights should be considered at times of reduced visibility but must be switched off when weather conditions improve.

“Further information can be found on the PSNI website on www.psni.police.uk and follow the links to winter driving advice.

“Help to make the roads safer by making sure that your vehicle and tyres are in good working order and properly maintained,” concluded Constable Henry.