Don’t be a wreck – have it checked

A two-minute check could prevent your vehicle from being a wreck and keep you safe on the roads this winter.

The free check-ups have been organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade and take place at Coulby Newham Fire Station on Saturday November 10 between 10am and 4pm.

The event launches the Brigade’s Winter Driving Safety Campaign that will be encouraging all road users to plan ahead and be ready for the additional challenges that the winter months can bring to a journey.

Andrew Bright, Learn and Live Co-ordinator with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said:

“‘We are asking drivers to make sure they and their vehicles are prepared for bad weather conditions. Before you set out, check your vehicle, the road conditions and the weather forecast. If conditions are poor, and journeys are not essential consider travelling later when roads have been treated or clear. Drivers are also encouraged to make sure they have a winter kit in their vehicle, including an ice scraper and de-icer, warm clothes and sunglasses to cope with the low winter sun.”

All too often serious incidents could have been prevented with a few simple checks and precautions. We urge drivers to give themselves more time when poor weather is expected, ensure their vehicle is road worthy and that they can see and be seen.”.

The Brigade is teaming up with National Tyres and Auto Care, KwikFit and Middlesbrough Borough Council Road Safety Team to carry out the checks. The free two-minute drive-thru checks include tyres, lights, wipers, fluid levels and washer bottle. Motorists will be offered a free screen wash top up, ice-scraper and handy safety advice checklist to get prepared and keep safe on the road.

Last year 56 out of 75 vehicles checked had one or more defects and 14 had multiple faults with many vehicles having under or over inflated tyres. Only 19 vehicles had a clean bill of health.

Middlesbrough Council’s Road Safety Officer Lynn Hepworth said:  “It is important people get their vehicles prepared for winter, but they also must moderate their driving behaviour by slowing down, maintaining safe distances, and being alert and observant, so that they have time to react safely in wet and icy conditions. If motorists can’t get to one of our events most reputable garage operators in the area offer similar free winter checks and we would urge motorists to take up the opportunity and keep both safe and legal”.