There’s no excuse for driving blind in the winter

Vital to plan together in case disaster should strike

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Congratulations to eagle-eyed police officer Sgt Jo Lockie.

It would have been all too easy for her to have turned a blind eye to the iced-up van crawling along Linkenholt Way, Havant.

But it was its driver who was steering blindly – peering through a letterbox-shaped hole in the ice on the windscreen.

The final straw came when Malcolm Benham then started opening and shutting the passenger and driver’s door in an attempt to see where he was going.

Of course, we can hear the moaners now: ‘Haven’t the police got better things to do? Why aren’t they out there catching real criminals?’

Trivial? Waste of valuable police time? Nonsense.

Just imagine what might have happened.

As our story on page 7 today says, nearly all of us have done it at some time, but perhaps the example made of Malcolm Benham will make every one of us think twice.

Surely it’s simply a matter of organisation.

Everyone these days seems to be transfixed by weather apps on their mobile phones so there are no excuses for not knowing if it will be icy in the morning.

If frost is forecast, set your alarm earlier and spend time de-icing your vehicle.

If you have not heeded the forecast and you’re running late for work or the school run because of an iced car, accept you’ll be late.

As Philip Goose from the road safety charity Brake says: ‘Any driver who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle unable to properly see other road users, either because of an icy window or because of their vision, has already fallen far below the basic level of competency that is expected.

‘They are a danger to other road users who are at risk of death or serious injury because of their actions.’

Benham’s rush to pull away before clearing all his windows cost him dearly in court: a year’s ban from driving and more than £1,000.

But he could have killed himself, other road users or pedestrians.

And all for the want of an extra 10 minutes before hitting the road.

For the full story click here.