Drive safely and considerately as further flooding expected, Wiltshire Council urges (From Wiltshire Times)
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Drive safely and considerately as further flooding expected, Wiltshire Council urges
9:35am Wednesday 12th February 2014 in News
Motorists are being urged to drive safely and sensibly as Wiltshire prepares for more rainfall over the coming days.
The emergency services are already stretched helping the most vulnerable in our communities, and every time they have to help drivers who have driven through the floods, this could delay other vital, lifesaving work.
Drivers should never move road closures, or attempt to drive through roads which have been closed due to flooding – both of these are a potential offence. Where roads are open, but have some minor flooding, drivers must slow down and drive according to the conditions.
Many houses are at danger of flooding by the bow wave from fast-moving vehicles, and pedestrians can be drenched with unclean water. This is also and offence and motorists could also be prosecuted for this.
Coun Jonathon Seed, cabinet member responsible for flooding, said: “We are working with agencies and communities to do everything we can to minimise the impact of flooding on local residents and businesses, but we need people, especially drivers, to think about how they are travelling through the county.
“Inconsiderate driving could cause an accident or damage properties, and motorists could be prosecuted for driving inconsiderately. All we are asking is for a bit of common courtesy when driving in these conditions.
“On two occasions when I have visited flood affected villages in the past week I have personally witnessed drivers creating unacceptable difficulties to pedestrians by travelling too fast through flood water.
"On one occasion in Tilshead cars drenched the team laying sandbags to help keep the road open and this is totally unacceptable.”
Steve Cox, head of roads policing at Wiltshire Police, said: “I cannot stress how important it is for motorists to pay due care and attention to the roads during this challenging weather.
"Motorists should pay attention to road signs and in particular if a road is closed do not attempt to drive on it as you may be putting your vehicle or your life at risk.
“Wiltshire drivers need to illustrate common courtesy to home owners and pedestrians whilst moving through minor flooding.
"It is also important to realise that if a car owner drives recklessly or ignores road signs that they could be prosecuted by the police and I would encourage the public to report any wrongdoing to the police via the 101 telephone number.”
The council says that with groundwater and river levels still being high, with more rain is expected across Wiltshire this week, people are being advised to remain vigilant.
People are also being urged not to drive or walk through flood water because it is never clear how deep the water is or what the water is covering. It is important people do not move or remove signs.
The Environment Agency is continuing to monitor river levels particularly in Malmesbury, Bradford on Avon and Salisbury.
Wiltshire Council is monitoring at-risk areas and working with local people, particularly those who are vulnerable in case water levels rise significantly.
Teams from Wiltshire Council are already out in force, dealing with flooded roads and properties, and blocked roads should be reported, although it may take some time for the team to reach minor roads.
The council’s highways team can be contaced on on 0300 456 0105.