As the clocks go back this weekend and the weather turns more wintry – darker and colder mornings and evenings become the norm. It’s the time of year when we reach for our warm coats and blankets, but before you do, remember a few key tips to keep you and your family safe this winter.
During the winter months, in addition to shorter daylight hours, foggy and misty weather can impact visibility. To stay safe when out and about remember:
Fluorescent and reflective materials on clothes are a good way to be seen better in the dark by drivers. Consider also adding reflective tape to bags and clothes which will light up in car headlights.
Anyone cycling during winter months should ensure bike lights are clean and in good working order. Remember, it is against the law to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back of your bike.
Drivers should be particularly mindful of school crossing patrollers on darker mornings and evenings and wet conditions. #StopMeansStop and failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £1,000 and 3 penalty points.
Be extra careful around all our schools, especially at drop-off and pick up times.
Get your children involved in learning about the importance of being seen in the dark with this online game: www.think.gov.uk/resource/be-bright-be-seen-game
Driving in winter can be more challenging with different weather conditions, so it helps to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared and you allow more time for your journey. Simple things like checking your tyre threads meet the required safety standards, lights and wipers are working correctly, and that you have the items you need should you break down are sensible steps to take. Find out more on our website: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-transport/road-safety/winter-driving
Many people use electric blankets during the winter to keep warm but it's important they are regularly checked. Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards will be running free, drop-in, safety checks for electric blankets at the following locations:
Chesham Library, Monday 30 October, 10am to 4pm
Burnham Library, Tuesday 31 October, 10am to 4pm
Just bring along your electric blanket for testing. If your blanket fails the safety test you will be given a new one free of charge, courtesy of Dreams.
The end of October also brings fun for children in the form of spooks and spells on Halloween. Children of all ages love dressing up and going out trick or treating but not everyone wants to join in the activities. Remember many older and vulnerable people would rather not have trick or treaters calling at their door, so please be considerate and only visit houses of people you know or those that are clearly decorated for Halloween.
Buckinghamshire Libraries have copies of posters that people can display in their windows to request no trick or treat callers. You can pick one up for free at any library in Buckinghamshire.
Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport said:
“As we move into winter it is sensible to make a few quick and simple checks and changes to our habits to keep ourselves and others safe. Taking five or ten minutes to check your car, bike, winter clothing and electric blankets can give you peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to ensure everyone is safe this winter.”