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Drivers urged to be prepared for the risks of darker nights on the roads

Police in West Norfolk have launched a new campaign to improve road safety on darker evenings this autumn.

The initiative, called Operation Dark Nights, has begun ahead of the clocks going back this weekend, at a time when incidents of collisions tend to rise.

Officers are taking part in a two-week operation of roadside checks on vehicles, which they say is intended to educate motorists about the risks of driving with car defects.

Police on the scene of an RTC - Norfolk Police accident sign. (19970479)
Police on the scene of an RTC - Norfolk Police accident sign. (19970479)

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk roads policing unit, said: "We often see a rise in collisions at this time of year which can be due to a number of factors including lighting defects, poorer weather conditions and people not used to driving in the dark.

"When the lighting outside changes, drivers often fail to look properly, this can lead to a rise in collisions. This operation is about raising awareness among motorists to prevent these incidents from happening.

"As part of this operation we will be checking the safety of vehicles, educating drivers and enforcing the law where necessary and appropriate.

"If you drive a car with one headlight out you are effectively reducing your visibility by half and the chances of being seen are a lot slimmer.

"It is important to make sure your vehicle is fit for winter conditions; make sure lights and windscreen wipers are working, that your tyres have sufficient tread and regularly top up the windscreen wash.”

"We advise drivers to watch their speed, keep a good distance between you and the car in front, and take time to look out for other road users, cyclists and pedestrians.

"Drivers who fail to follow these guidelines may receive a fine and points on their licence, the most serious cases may result in court action, Police also have the power to prohibit the use of unroadworthy vehicles at the roadside.”

Operation Dark Nights began on Monday and is due to continue until November 4.

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