Get Ready For Winter – Campaign
Over the coming weeks and months you can expect to see Police Scotland stopping and inspecting vehicles as part of the Scottish Government’s “Get Ready for Winter” campaign.
Your vehicle can be inspected to ensure that it is safe for winter which can precipitate a blizzard of fines and penalty points.
Driving a vehicle which is in dangerous condition could lead to a prosecution for dangerous driving under Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
What Happens if I Get Pulled Over?
This winter Police Scotland will stop thousands of motorists ostensibly to ensure that the vehicle is “safe for winter”. This could, however, result in your license being endorsed with penalty points – and in some situations, disqualification – and a financial penalty.
If you are unlucky enough to be pulled over, Police Scotland will take your name, date of birth, address and nationality. Aside from the usual checks – for example: licence and insurance, they will also perform a physical examination on your vehicle.
Section 67 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 allows an authorised examiner to test a vehicle on a road to ascertain whether the construction and use requirements are being observed. Most Police Officers are authorised examiners and it is the driver’s duty to comply with reasonable instruction. The motorist does however have the right to seek a deferment of the test.
What Do They Check?
The Police will carry out an inspection of the main safety features of your vehicle – namely: the engine; the tyres; lights; and windscreen wipers.
They are not mechanics and the inspection will be largely visual in nature. Your co-operation is required to assist with testing your lights and windscreen wipers to ensure they are in good working order.
Oil Be The Judge of That
One of the first things that the Police will wish to do is have a look under your bonnet. Happily, the things that they will look to check are colour coded to make it nice and easy.
In no particular order, they will inspect:
Oil – This requires the Police to remove your dipstick and check that there is oil between the markers
Brake Fluid – This involves a visual inspection of the levels and it must meet at least the minimum level and must not exceed the maximum
Engine Coolant – Similar to the brake fluid check, the minimum level must be present whilst not going over the maximum level
Windscreen Wash – As with both engine coolant and brake fluid there is a minimum and maximum level and the wash must be between those levels. Windscreen wash will be the subject of further examination
I’m Tyred of This
Tyres – possibly the least fun self-check of your vehicle. This is very important however, not only from a safety point of view but crucially from a ‘penalty points of view’.
Tyres will be inspected for tears, bulges and other damage. Treads, which are there to ensure water drains from the surface of the tyre, will also be measured.
Tyre treads must measure at least 1.6mm across the centre three-quarters.
If your tyres are torn, bulging, damaged or the tread has worn down to below the legal minimum you will be issued with a fixed penalty for 3 points and