Road users urged to plan ahead
Road users are being urged to get ready for unpredictable weather during winter.
The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) is hosting a road safety weekend to highlight the dangers faced by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians as the nights get darker and the temperature drops.
The country's eight police forces are working with the Scottish Government and road maintenance companies in a campaign to urge people to plan ahead of their journeys during the winter months.
Chief Superintendent Derek Robertson said: "The Scottish weather is notoriously unpredictable and drivers can encounter a wide variety of different driving conditions during a single journey. As was highlighted during the extreme weather encountered in recent years, effective planning plays a huge part in everyone getting safely to their destination.
"This campaign is not solely directed at motorists, but everyone using our roads. Unfortunately, I know from experience that pedestrians, cyclists and joggers are involved in serious road accidents during the winter months.
"As the days become shorter and temperatures begin to drop, motorists should ensure that their vehicles are given a winter check and are properly maintained. For cyclists, visibility is a key issue and they should ensure that they can be seen. Joggers and pedestrians are encouraged to wear high visibility garments and think carefully about the routes chosen."
In the worst weather conditions ACPOS only want drivers to use the roads if their journey is "absolutely necessary" and say tyre treads and pressure should be checked regularly along with oil, water and screen-wash levels.
Cyclists are being urged to attach suitable lights to their bikes and wear reflective clothing and a cycle helmet. Pedestrians and joggers are being advised to wear high visibility clothing and avoid using "distraction devices" such as mobile phones or listening to loud music through ear phones.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Whether it's at home, on the move, in the workplace or in communities, we all need to consider how we will cope in severe weather. I would encourage everyone to plan ahead, be prepared, always leave enough time for your journey and check the forecast before you leave.
"There is plenty of information and support available, online, including our new free mobile phone app, in the media, and in our ACPOS endorsed Driving in Bad Weather leaflet. By thinking ahead and helping each other, we can all stay safe this winter."