Grampian area sees 77 road accidents over weekend as snow falls

Nearly 80 accidents were reported to Grampian Police at the weekend as snow and ice hit the region's roads.

Between Friday and Sunday Grampian Police said it had received 77 reports of crashes, including two fatal accidents near Huntly, between Friday and Sunday.

The figure is at least double what would normally be reported over this period. The force said many of the accidents had happened because of "poorer driving conditions”.

During the last two weeks the force said there had been an increase in the number of accidents and it was “investigating a number of the serious collisions”.

Chief inspector Ian Wallace, head of road policing, said: "Sadly we have seen an increased number of serious and fatal road traffic collisions occurring locally over the past two weeks.

"After the recent drop in temperatures, snow and ice have been affecting our roads and there has been a noticeable increase in the number of road traffic collisions reported to the police.

“For some of these collisions, the presence of poorer driving conditions is being included as part of our enquiries as we try to determine all the circumstances involved.

"Driving during the winter months requires a different approach to be employed, namely using dipped headlights, reducing your speed, increasing your stopping distance, using smooth steering and avoiding harsh acceleration and braking.

“Some simple changes to the way you drive can make a big difference and reduce the chances of you being involved in a collision."

On Friday Richard Plaine, 32, died in an accident on the A97 after a grey Land Rover Discovery and red Fiat Stilo crashed five miles north of Huntly at around 10.40am.

Meanwhile, two people had to be cut free from the wreckage of a car on the A952 Toll of Birness to Mintlaw road at Ardallie on Friday. Grampian Police said two cars had collided with one landing up in a field after one of the vehicles skidded.

On Saturday, a 28-year-old woman died after a collision between a Vauxhall Corsa and a Citroen Relay van on the A96 the Peregrine Falcon Centre in Huntly.

A Traffic Scotland spokesman said the Met Office has issued a yellow warning and conditions for travel in the Grampian areas may be hazardous and drivers should exercise “extra caution”.

He said: “Winter Driving is a question of common sense and drivers should ask themselves if they really need to travel when conditions are poor. No-one should ever place themselves at risk on the road and it may be worth considering making alternative arrangements such as delaying travel until conditions improve or using public transport.

“If you are travelling on the roads you should ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions, making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours. Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.”

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