Switch Onto Safer Roads

Viking Hiking the Crantit WayThis glorious weather we have had in Orkney over the past few days brought with it misty evenings and mornings. If driving you may have noticed some drivers not using their lights in these conditions.

This has prompted local MSP David Stewart, Labour, who is also a road safety campaigner to  reiterate his warning about drivers switching on their headlights in poor visibility.

Five years ago he launched a campaign with Stagecoach Bus and Acorn Signs highlighting this issue through the ‘Switch Onto Safer Roads campaign’, a message that is still relevant today.

David Stewart said:

David Stewart MSP Scottish Labour

Photo Scottish Labour

“Our group at the North Of Scotland Driver Awareness Team (NOSDAT) are always looking at ways we can make our roads safer and in particular we want to use education as the medium to get our messages across. To date we have been very fortunate to have the support of local businesses and the media to help us do this.

“In relation to the Switch Onto Safer Roads campaign we set this initiative up five years ago with Stagecoach Bus and Acorn Signs, Inverness, which was an initiative designed to do something about the number of drivers who fail to display dipped headlights in poor visibility. This campaign never ages as it is as relevant today as it was when we launched it.

“The North of Scotland has been enjoying some terrific weather of late, but in the mornings especially, there is a haar or mists which reduces visibility dramatically. In these conditions dipped headlights should be displayed and drivers should not rely on their running lights, because they are only illuminated at the front of vehicles. Drivers need those driving behind them to see them also, so they need to illuminate rear lights and they can only do this by switching on their dipped headlights or rear fog lights.

“You do not have to travel far from home or work to see the number of drivers who just don’t get it. These drivers should remember that it is not only about using your lights to see, but about using your lights to be seen by all other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.

“If nothing else will prompt drivers about driving in poor visibility today, I ask them to please try and remember ‘Switch Onto Safer Roads’.

I would add that all roads users drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should be making sure that they can be seen – wearing bright clothing makes a huge difference. 

Switch Onto Safer Roads

Note: In February 2012, HGV’s and buses new on the road also came fitted with the L.E.D. running lights.

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  1. David is quite right, I remember back in the 70’s when I bought my first series 2 Volvo which was equipped with daylight driving lights I was getting ‘flashed’ by just about every car going in the opposite direction – – – – and this was in fairly thick early morning East Anglia fog/harr. I once asked a guy why he was not using lights and the reply, “I don’t want to run down my battery” to which I nearly choked. But when you still get drivers who wait until it’s almost pitch-dark before turning on their lights there will always be eejits out there. Oh, while we are on this cyclists are among the worst offenders, yet the most vulnerable and they want all accidents involving cyclists to be blamed on the car driver!!!

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