Free two-minute car safety checks as winter bites

Coulby winter check poster 2014Drivers are being offered free car safety checks this weekend to ensure their vehicles are ready for the dark nights and winter weather.

Cleveland Fire Brigade, Road Safety GB North East and Middlesbrough Council are working with a group of car maintenance companies to help motorists ensure their vehicles are in safe working order.

They will be offering all drivers a free five-point check on their vehicles between 10am and 4pm at Coulby Newham Fire Station in Middlesbrough on Saturday, which is located on Bickley Way, off Newham Way, opposite Tesco supermarket.

The checks will take just two minutes and will cover:

·         Tyres (including pressure)

·         lights

·         wiper blades

·         fluid levels

·         washer bottle top up

Drivers will also be given a variety of road and fire safety advice, along with goody bags and free Learn and Live windscreen ice scrapers.

Andrew Bright, Learn and Live Co-ordinator at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Firefighters see first-hand the carnage and devastation that can be caused by road traffic collisions.

“When the winter weather suddenly bites drivers who are not prepared can be caught out and the outcome can have tragic consequences, so the message is simple, a two-minute check can prevent a wreck.” 

A similar event last year showed that 65 percent of the 70 cars checked had some kind of defect, with the main issues being tyres, lights and wiper blades.

Andrew said a high percentage of tyres tested were either over or under-inflated – both of which caused potential hazards to the drivers.

Middlesbrough Council’s Road Safety Officer Lynn Hepworth thanked the motor maintenance companies who were supporting this year’s event.

She said: “A few simple vehicle checks can help keep drivers safe and on the move. Preparation is key to making sure journeys are as safe as possible, so we urge people to bring their cars in for a quick check up.” 

Road Safety GB North East Chairman Paul Watson said during the winter months drivers faced additional risks to other times of the year.

He said: “It’s important people get their vehicles prepared for winter, but they also must moderate their behavior by slowing down, maintaining safe distances, and being alert and observant, so that they have time to react safely in wet and icy conditions.

“For vehicles to be well maintained they must have tyres with good tread, screen wash at the correct concentration, wiper blades in good condition, lights that are clean and in working order, and a battery that can hold its charge throughout the winter months. 

Car maintenance companies supporting the event include Halfords Autocentre, Middlesbrough Tyre & Autocentre, National Tyres and Autocare, and Derek Campbell Exhaust & Tyre Centre.