A WARNING has gone out to motorists about the additional hazards they could face on the region’s roads as the school holidays are now upon us.
Police Scotland Roads Policing Inspector Campbell Moffat in Dumfries is reminding motorists across the Dumfries and Galloway that the start of the school summer holidays is a time to remember that there is a likelihood of more vulnerable road users using our roads.
This will include people out walking, cycling, or even on horseback, as the summer months usually sees an increase in people out and about using the roads across our countryside.
Inspector Moffat said: “ I ask that drivers be mindful of how busy the roads network can be at this time of year with children off school on holiday and out and about on our roads, whether in town or in the countryside. Drivers must be careful of and considerate towards all types of road users especially those requiring extra care.
“The roads in the region are there to be shared by all motorists, including older, learner and inexperienced drivers, as well as other vulnerable groups such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. We all have a duty to help each other stay safe.
“Extra traffic brought about by tourists visiting, or passing through Dumfries and Galloway for their summer holidays only adds to the potential dangers. The increase at this time of year in slow moving agricultural vehicles for harvest activities also can pose further danger on the roads network.”
He added: “Slow moving and often large and wide vehicles used in farming today can increase the potential for coming across the unexpected, particularly on some of the narrower roads in our countryside. This often includes the hours of darkness because when the weather is right, harvest activities will go on around the clock.
“I also ask those involved in the harvest and other farm work to remember to take their time and expect the unexpected on all our rural roads, no matter how well you think you know them. Complacency itself can be a danger and just because the last five times that day you haven’t met anything on the road back to the farm doesn’t mean that you won’t meet something on the sixth journey. We all have a duty of care on our roads.
“Parents and those who care for children and young people should have the relevant conversation with them about road safety in general. Reducing the number of casualties on our roads is a priority for Police Scotland, however we all need to work together to help achieve this goal.”