November 16, 2010 10.16 am This story is over 160 months old

Reverend: Gritters blessing reduced fatalities

Road salt: The gritters in Lincolnshire will receive blessings for winter road safety.

Dr John Saxbee, the Right Reverend of Lincoln, claims that annual ceremonies to bless the gritters seven years in a row coincided with reduced fatalities on the roads.

Lincolnshire County Council is preparing for simultaneous prayer ceremonies for winter road safety at all the county gritting depots on December 7.

Saxbee, who retires in January, will bless Lincolnshire’s spreading vehicles, salt and drivers, in the eight annual ceremony:

“These annual Blessing of the Gritters events have coincided with a dramatic reduction in the number of fatalities on Lincolnshire’s roads,” Saxbee said.

“Perhaps that is not a coincidence, and as I look to my retirement in January I hope and pray that driving carefully and arriving safely will continue to matter to all who use our road network in the years ahead.”

The annual ritual takes place at sites in North Willingham, Horncastle, Ancaster, Manby, Boston, Pode Hole and Thurlby.

The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership will also advise motorists to drive carefully and not assume that even treated roads can be completely safe.

David Davies, Principal Maintenance Engineer for county council Highways, said he is proud to host the latest annual blessing of the gritters:

“The blessings not only are to pray for their safety but play a crucial role in highlighting the need for motorists to drive carefully during the winter period, whether a route has been treated or not.

“Salt can be a big help, but is not a complete cure,” Davies added.

Source, Photo: Lincolnshire County Council | Map of county roads to be salted [PDF]