'Stay safe on our roads' message after four deaths in six days in Northamptonshire

Clocks going back means more danger from skiddy services in longer hours of darkness

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 5th November 2021, 7:50 am

Police are urging drivers to stay safe in the wake of four deaths on county roads in the space of six days.

Crashes coincided with the weekend the clocks went back, signalling longer hours of darkness and skiddy surfaces.

An 18-year-old named locally as Charlie Owen, was killed when the Fiat Punto he was a passenger in crashed in Pytchley Lane near Kettering on Friday night (October 29).

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'Stay safe on our roads' message issued by police. (File picture).

The driver of a Honda S2000 died in hospital after being seriously injured when the car crossed the central reservation on the A43 heading towards Corby the following day.

On Tuesday (November 3), the driver of a Range Rover also died after a single-vehicle collision near Twywell.

And less than 24 hours later a pedestrian was also killed on Broad Street in Northampton.

Chair of the county's Safer Roads Alliance Superintendent Jen Helm is urging those out walking, cycling or driving to take extra care and be prepared for winter.

Supt Helm, said: “Our priority is to work with partners and the public to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“The clocks going back is a good time to re-focus on this and remind everyone that we each need to do all we can to keep ourselves and others safe when using our roads. It’s essential we take extra care and look out for each other.

“We would also ask those walking, running or cycling to wear bright or reflective clothing and fit lights to their bikes, while drivers should make sure their vehicles are ready for winter and modify their driving to reflect the conditions.”

The Safer Roads Alliance is a countywide partnership between the Northamptonshire Police, Fire & Rescue Service, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and local authorities, which was set up in November 2018.

It brings together key partners to work on initiatives which aims to improve road safety across the county through education, engagement, engineering and enforcement. To help keep you safe this winter, follow these road safety tips:

Pedestrians/runners or dog walkers

• Stick to well-lit areas and routes you are familiar with

• Be alert - don’t listen to music or wear earphones

• Make sure your phone is charged, but be careful if you are texting/chatting as this can be an unnecessary distraction and could attract thieves

• Wear light colours and reflective/high visibility jackets on a dull/foggy day or in the evening/at night

• Always choose a well-lit place when you cross the road

• Remember it takes drivers longer to stop in wet or slippery conditions

■ Cyclists

• Wear light colours and reflective/high visibility jackets on a dull/foggy day or in the evening/at night

• Check tyres, lights and reflectors on your bike before you set off

• ALWAYS wear an approved cycle helmet

■ Motorists

• Make sure all the lights on your vehicles are working

• Make sure your tyres have sufficient tread, and are inflated to the correct pressure recommended by the manufacturer

• Check your windscreen washer bottle is full and wipers are in good working order

• Make sure your engine cooling system is topped up with anti-freeze

• Ensure vehicle windows are clear of ice and mist before starting a journey