Drivers are being urged to keep safe on the roads this winter by slowing down and following precautions for the cold weather conditions.
The total number of people killed or seriously injured annually from collisions on roads in the county has fallen over the past five years from 264 in 2009 to 165 in 2013.
But there is an increase during the winter months by as much as 25 percent – with the highest numbers recorded in December compared to the lowest months of May and August.
Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership – which includes Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, the probation service, the Youth Offending Team and Wiltshire Council – is urging drivers to heed advice on keeping safe in the adverse conditions, including how to cope with flooded roads.
John Thomson, cabinet member for highways, said: “For many people in Wiltshire the car is the only option, especially for last-minute important journeys.
“While it is tempting for us to try and get to our destinations as quickly as possible, when conditions are bad there is nothing that cannot wait a few more minutes if that makes the roads safer for everyone.
“I would urge all drivers to just slow down a little over the winter months. Just being a little more cautious can make all the difference.”
Advice to drivers is not to drive during poor weather conditions unless the journey cannot be avoided and driving is the only option.
Judith Billingham, road safety manager at Wiltshire Council, said: “As well as taking a few steps to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy during the winter, this year is the 50th anniversary of the first drink-drive campaign, and that is still one of the biggest causes of road collisions.
“Even a small amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive.”
Wiltshire Police are also reminding drivers of the dangers of drinking and taking drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Officers are stepping up roadside enforcement throughout the whole of December and into the New Year, to catch those drivers who ignore the warnings and put other people and their own lives in danger.
Inspector Steve Cox, head of roads policing operations, said: “Christmas is a busy time of the year with lots of social events taking place that people don’t want to miss out on. We want people to enjoy the festive season however, it’s important that you have sensible plans in place to get home safely when you’re out and about.
“Drink and/or drug driving is a very serious offence and innocent lives are put in grave danger by people who make such a senseless decision.
“We want to ensure that we do all we can to help keep Wiltshire roads safe and a lot of time and effort will be put in to catch those who decide to drink and/or drug drive this Christmas.The message from us is perfectly clear. If you take a chance on drink and/or drug driving, you will be caught.
“I also want to remind drivers that the effects of a night out may still affect you the following morning. Every year officers arrest people the morning after the night before celebrations.”
Being caught drink or drug-driving can include a 12-month driving ban, a large fine, a criminal record and serious implications for insurance premiums.