Having no fluid in window washer jets or headlights obscured by dirt could land drivers with a court appearance this winter, police are warning.
An obscured registration plate is also an offence that could land people with a £100 fine. But local officers have been out on the roads this week advising motorists of the simple checks that will help keep them safe on the roads this winter ... and out of trouble with the law.
Cyclists are also being urged to take more care on the road and ensure they are prepared for the cold months ahead by wearing the appropriate reflective clothing.
The area has many rural, remote and arterial routes. And wintry weather can make conditions on them treacherous with breakdowns more likely.
Police carrying out checks in Falkirk on Tuesday found that out of 70 vehicles stopped, 27 had defects requiring action. Two motorists were charged with driving offences.
Inspector David McKenzie of the Forth Valley Division’s road policing unit said: “I’d say that it’s evident that a high percentage of the vehicles we stopped had something wrong. In most cases these were minor and officers gave advice about the legal standards required. This highlights that drivers may have small defects on their vehicles that they are not aware of but even a small defect could contribute to a crash.
“As we head into winter weather conditions I’d encourage motorists to take some extra time to give their vehicles a thorough check. Our road policing officers will continue to focus on this aspect of road safety for the remainder of this week.”
He added: “Hazards are different on roads in winter and can certainly be much more dangerous. It’s just a case of being aware of these hazards.
“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst is good advice to follow. Everyone needs to think ahead and be prepared for all kinds of severe weather.”
Advice being issued includes:
Check the weather forecast and road conditions
Consider alternative routes
Consider alternative modes of transport
Make sure your car is ready for a journey in poor weather
Tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive
Consider fitting winter tyres to your vehicle
Pack essential items like an ice scraper and de-icer, a shovel for snow, a torch and spare batteries, battery jump leads