As we celebrate bonfire night on Tuesday 5 November many of you will be taking to the road to travel to your local firework display. IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has written some tips to help prepare drivers and riders for the firework season.
Dress for the weather. It’s getting colder, and you’ll be standing around for an hour or so in the cold! If you’re wearing welly boots, be sure you change out of these when driving. Take some gloves too if you have some, especially if you’re taking sparklers (make sure you take some cold water to put these out).
If you’re going to a local firework display, walk if you can. That way you won’t get caught up in the traffic and struggle to find a parking spot. Wear light coloured clothing or some hi-visibility clothing, as motorists may struggle to see you in the dark.
If you are driving or riding, have you planned where you’re going to park? Planning your journey ahead of time will avoid any last-minute rushing to make the show on time.
If you’re travelling by car or motorbike to watch the fireworks, keep your eyes on the road. There will be lots of children out and about, so stay vigilant as they can be unpredictable.
If the fireworks have already started whilst you’re out on the road, do not take your eyes off the road to watch them. Find a safe place to pull over or wait until you get there.
Protect your pets if they get scared of the fireworks. Never leave them in a car near a firework display as they could injure themselves or damage your car. Create a quiet space for them at home, where they can hide and feel safe.
If you’re buying fireworks, ensure you have a spark resistant container with a lid to put them in. Place them securely in the boot, this will remove any temptation for passengers to interfere with them when you are driving.
Remove anything flammable from your vehicle and store it safely in your home.
The law states that you cannot buy more than 50kg’s of fireworks. Most insurance companies allow you to transport fireworks, but just check the small print to be certain.
Richard said: “Fireworks can be great fun, but they can also bring out the wild side in some people. Keep alert and watch out for unusual behaviour such as kids throwing fireworks into traffic. A bit of planning and a lot of common sense will go a long way in making sure your night goes with a bang and isn’t just a damp squib.”
Notes to editors:
Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com
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