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Driving Safely out of Lockdown?

LISTEN: Pat Spicer and Sue Dolan-Betney explain some of the things to watch out for before going back out onto the road

Representatives from various community council areas in Highland Perthshire have teamed up with Councillor Mike Williamson and PKC head of Community Safety Roddy Ross to form the Highland Road Safety Action Partnership to bring drivers attention to the condition of their vehicles – and driving skills – following a reduction in driving over the past year due to lockdown restrictions.

Throughout the past year, many cars have been left in the driveway with the few times they have been in operation being a quick essential journey to the supermarket. Now that we are returning to the roads more frequently, the Road Safety Action Group and Glen Lyon & Loch Tay Community Council are urging road users to get their driving skills and vehicle care up to scratch.

Secretary of the Road Safety Action Group, Pat Spicer, said:

“We had the stay home rule with the rules that you were supposed to only go out for essential purposes and pretty much for most people, unless you had work that was going to be going to the shops, and that’s about it.

“Lots of driving that was part of our everyday lives was stopped by the stay-at-home rule -, that meant the roads were a lot quieter for a while, but they’re about to get busier again”

Sue Dolan-Bentley of the Glen Lyon & Loch Tay Community Council said:

“I enjoy this meeting and I look forward to it. I felt it is building somewhere. It’s not just talking – we have set goals. We have SMART Objectives – Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic but always time related.

“Whatever we do has to meet that criteria. Our aim is to shut the stable door before the horse bolts.

“We would rather see prevention than cure – specific road problems get a hearing with a real hope of getting some action.

The Road Safety Group was formed through a partnership initiative with Perth & Kinross Council, aimed at enabling communities to put across their priorities across to the council who may not otherwise have prioritised those issues due to budget constraints or lack of resources.

Pat added:

“If you leave a car parked up for a long time with the load in one particular direction on the tires that can cause decay to the tires as well so the walls might develop cracks.

“Another thing that’s been highlighted is windscreens. You leave them not washed, not used for a while then deposits are going to wind up on them and if you start the windscreen wipers up you’ll smear the windscreen.

“It’s always good to check those things. There’s lots of advice out there on things you should check to try and avoid problems.”

“Police Scotland have made some videos which you can access.”

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Sue added:

“If you’re nervous about apprehensive best admitted and start on a quiet local road, something that’s familiar – a short journey.

“Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists because they’ve had to place themselves for a long time and got used to being an absence of traffic. Don’t be pressured by traffic behind you if need to pull over and then pull out again.”

For further guidance on vehicle and road safety, visit Police Scotland at: https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/road-safety/

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