Published: Tue 19 May, 2020
*Shared on behalf of Leicestershire Police*
Drivers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being urged to take extra care on the roads as many get back behind the wheel for the first time since lockdown began.
The government’s phased reduction of the COVID-19 restrictions, which came into effect last week, has enabled many people to return to a place of work if they are unable to work from home. People are now also able to drive to publicly available open spaces.
Members of the public have been urged to consider other options before using public transport, meaning that many will opt for car travel, cycling or walking to get around - bringing a number of concerns for road safety.
Traffic monitoring has also shown that drivers have been travelling at consistently higher speeds on roads across our local road network during the pandemic.
The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership is warning all motorists to check the following:
- Ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy, check your tyres, engine oil, water, lights and fuel before setting off
- Ensure that you are fit to drive, if you have a new medical condition or are taking new medications this may affect your ability to drive
- Plan and prepare to make your journey safely
- Be aware of the changed conditions on the road and how to deal with them
- Always drive within the speed limit
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Never drive after drinking or taking drugs
- Never use a hand-held mobile phone or device while driving
Jonathan Clarkson spokesperson for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership, said, ”If you are venturing out onto our roads for the first time since late March, or continuing to make essential journeys, can I take this opportunity to remind drivers of the need to take extra care, particularly around other more vulnerable road users.”
“In recent weeks we have seen our traffic levels dropping by an average of over 60%, despite this we have still tragically seen nineteen people killed or seriously injured on our roads between March 23 and April 23. At normal traffic levels the five year average for this same calendar month is twenty six.“