Deteriorating weather conditions set to hit Tayside

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WEATHER conditions are set to deteriorate across Tayside region in the coming hours, with rain, sleet and snow, as well as driving winds forecast to last well into Tuesday.

As such Tayside Police is asking the public – and drivers in particular – to take the utmost care in what may be challenging driving conditions and ensure that there vehicles is fully roadworthy before setting out on any journey.

The Met Office state that areas of sleet and snow over higher ground will affect many areas at times today and will become increasingly focussed on eastern parts of Scotland as the day goes on. As the temperatures drop during the day, snow will fall at lower levels.

Areas likely to be affected by the most significant snowfall are Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perth and Kinross, parts of Fife, parts of Central and Lothian and Borders. Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh could also be affected by snowfall. The combination of snow and strong winds could lead to some drifting.

The main period of snow is likely to be overnight and into Tuesday, with some snow shower continuing through much of Tuesday in eastern areas.

Emergency Services, the local authorities, along with SEPA and other partner agencies are working closely together as they continue to monitor the situation and ensure an effective response to any challenges.

With the combination of snowfall, strong winds, and sub zero temperatures Tayside Police appeals to anyone who is driving to be prepared.

Sergeant Craig McBean appealed to make sure their vehicles are ready for winter driving conditions. Poor tyres, faulty lights and worn windscreen wipers can all contribute to vehicles being a danger. Any bad driving habits, such as driving too close to the vehicle in front, can make matters all the more treacherous.

Sergeant McBean said: “It is vital that all motorists check that their vehicles can cope with the extremes of Scottish weather. Before travelling, check the weather forecast and make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food and a torch just in case. Tune in to travel information and leave plenty of time for your journey.

“Check all lights to ensure that they are clean and in good working order and use dipped headlights instead of sidelights. This ensures good visibility to the front of the vehicle and makes your vehicle visible to other road users. Washer bottles should be kept topped up with screen wash, and wiper blades kept in good condition.

“Don’t drive away until windows have been properly cleared of ice and mist. It is not safe to drive a vehicle when you cannot clearly see ahead and to the sides. Where necessary clear windscreens and windows of ice and snow, as well as roofs, bonnets and boots.

“Good tyres are even more essential in wintry conditions. Check your tyres for defects such as bulges, cuts or tears. These defects will weaken the tyre and make it unsafe.

“Driving too close to the vehicle in front in such conditions is particularly dangerous, on a wet or icy road surface.

“It is important that drivers pay attention to the weather and road conditions when driving and drive accordingly. If the road is wet, snow covered or visibility is reduced then drivers need to slow down. This gives the driver more time to identify a hazard and thereafter more time to deal with any situation safely.”

Allow plenty of time for your journey, reduce your speed and drive according to the conditions.

Tayside Police offers drivers the following information and advice -

Increase the gap between your vehicle and the one in front.

On slippery roads it can take up to 10 times longer to stop.

Reduce your speed and allow more time to slow down. Stop by decelerating earlier, rather than rely on braking alone

Use dipped headlights so you can see and be seen.

If visibility is extremely poor (less than 100 metres visibility) then use fog lights, but switch them off whenever conditions improve or they will cause undue dazzle, which is an offence.

People are also advised to make use of traffic information websites such as www.trafficscotland.org and there are also regular updates on AA Roadwatch.

Further Information on the kind of disruption that might be experienced is available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/severe-weather-advice.

The full Alerts, with maps of the area affected, can be viewed on hazard manager or on website http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/.

People should also be aware of local television and radio bulletins for updates on the latest weather and travel information. Details on any council and trunk road closures can be found at http://trafficscotland.org.

Local authority websites carry further useful information in relation to various services and people should also log on to the Safer Scotland Ready For Winter? website on www.readyscotland.org for more valuable