Essex Police deliver winter weather warning

POLICE are appealing for drivers with automatic headlights to turn them on manually when visibility is reduced due to fog and snow.

During a police road operation, held last Wednesday at Thremhall Avenue (Stansted Airport), Birchanger and Birchanger M11 Services, officers found that 38 people did not have their lights on despite visibility being poor.

Many of those stopped had automatic headlights that automatically go on when it gets dark but not necessarily when visibility is poor in bad weather.

Those 38 drivers received verbal warnings and were given advice and information about how to drive more safely.

The road checks are part of Operation Mink - an ongoing initiative designed to educate motorists on road safety.

Officers also found one driver using a phone while driving, seized two vehicles for no insurance, another driver was given a fixed penalty notice for insurance-related issues, a driver was arrested for being wanted on warrant and ten people received verbal warnings for not wearing their seatbelts.

Pc Deborah Gray Farrer said: “The operation is a great chance for us to get out and meet people, to show them how their driving could be dangerous and at the same time giving them road safety advice to help them improve.

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“It is about talking to drivers and interacting with them and making them aware that their driving could one day have real consequences for others.

“Joining the road policing team on this operation were officers from Stansted Airport and other agencies.

“During the operation the visibility was reduced due to fog and officers found that those drivers with automatic headlights did not have their lights on. I would appeal to anybody with automatic headlights to manually turn them on when visibility is reduced.

“The operation means that 38 people are now more aware of how their vehicles work and, who knows, it might save the life of a pedestrian, another road user or their own.

“It is really important to get our message across about the importance of wearing seatbelts. They do and will save lives in the event of an accident. The ten people who were not wearing belts were putting themselves and others in danger, especially with the wintery conditions.”