We’ve come to rely on our cars to get us around every day but not only is it important to make sure they’re in tip-top condition, it’s also a legal requirement.
Inspector Emma Bullock, Roads Policing Unit, explained:
“The condition of anyone’s vehicle is important for a number of reasons. “At a very basic level, it needs to be safe for the driver and passengers so that they can get from A to B safely. “If it’s not maintained to a safe and legal condition, it could affect the safety of other road users and contribute to a collision. “That’s why we are holding our #SummerRoadSafetyEssex campaign, to highlight the issues that prevent our roads from being the safest they can be and to ask our road users to make sure their vehicles are roadworthy.”
Just last month, RPU officers stopped a van towing a caravan. The officers noted the damaged front windscreen was obscuring the driver’s view.
Upon further inspection, there was no safety brake cable between the van and the caravan.
Insp Bullock added:
“Unfortunately for the driver, we issued a prohibition order meaning that they could not drive any further until the windscreen had been mended. "Their view was diminished meaning it was hazardous for the driver to continue and potentially dangerous for other roads users. "If the van had needed to brake suddenly, the caravan would have continued into the back of it.”
It’s important that vehicles are maintained so that they remain mechanically sound and routine and regular inspection can help. Special attention needs to be paid to:
the braking system; are you able to stop quickly?
the steering system; hold the wheel with two hands whilst driving. If the vehicle veers to the side get it checked out by a mechanic.
the tyres; if the tyres are worn, replace them. An under-inflated tyre can be just as dangerous preventing you from stopping in time.
mirrors; make sure they are positioned so you can see correctly and they are not damaged or missing.
windscreens, washers and wipers; it’s vital that you can see the road ahead, clean the windscreen regularly, top up the fluid and never drive with a broken windscreen that obscures your vision.