Traffic cops have issued vital driving advice to coincide with our campaign calling on the Government to improve road safety on the A19.
The Safe A19 campaign was launched after the dual-carriageway saw two serious collisions in a space of a few days.
Our campaign is pressing the Department for Transport to launch an inquiry into the safety of the road.
It has been backed by Easington MP Grahame Morris.
The petition has also been supported by Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson.
Officers from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit urged drivers to show consideration and common sense.
Inspector Jon Curtis said: “When joining traffic on a slip road, you should try to join at a speed that is similar to that of the traffic you are joining and only if there is a sufficient gap in the traffic flow for you to do so safely without impeding other drivers.
“If you cannot do this then you must stop and wait until there is a large enough gap to pull into the lane, once again without forcing other vehicles to slow down.
“By the same token if you are in the left hand lane of a dual carriageway and you notice that a vehicle is approaching the junction to join your lane, check your mirrors and your blind spot and if it is safe to do so, move into the right hand lane. This allows the approaching vehicle to join the carriageway without slowing down.
“You should spend most of the time in the left hand lane, with the right being reserved for overtaking or turning right where you are permitted to do so.
“Do not hog an overtaking lane as this can cause frustration to those behind you who want to use the lane correctly.
“The speed restrictions on dual carriageways will depend on their location and the amount of traffic they have to deal with.
“Generally in non-urban areas the maximum speed limit is 70mph. This speed restriction may be lower in built up areas, so take observe these variations.
“Many people still continue to drive at speeds that are inappropriate for the types of road they are on and for the weather conditions. Always drive within the speed limits of the road you are travelling on and adjust them downwards when weather conditions deteriorate.
“You should always take care not drive too closely to any vehicle in front of you.
“As a minimum, you should try to allow two seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
“This distance should be increased for speeds of 50mph or above, and at least doubled or more for poor weather conditions.”
Figures of fatal, serious and slight injury accidents during 2016 are still being calculated and confirmed, but initial statistics show that between the Wolviston interchange and Testo’s Roundabout at Boldon, there have been about 36 collisions involving 88 vehicles, causing 71 injuries, with six of those smashes classed as serious.
Figures for the year before found there were three deaths on the road, 41 serious crashes and 275 slight, with six of the serious collisions on the section between Boldon and Seaham.
There have been about 300 collisions along the full stretch of the A19 each year going back to 2011.
The petition can be found by searching A19 on Change.org or via: https://goo.gl/ubdhzF