Just before we went into lockdown in March, I drove into Manchester to visit a family member as it seemed likely it would be many months before I could see him again.

In my defence, I wasn’t familiar with the area and ended up getting a speeding ticket, my first in more than 30 years.

It was a fair cop and I was happy to avoid getting points on my licence by accepting the offer of taking a speed awareness course.

I thought it would be a case of just going through the motions to get my ‘pass’ and be on my way.

However, I actually found it really helpful and instructive and I’m sure the course leader would be happy to hear I have modified my driving behaviour as a result.

I mention this after reading the shocking statistics from Cheshire Police that the number of road traffic accident fatalities across the county doubled from seven in June to September 2019 to 14 over the same three months this year.

With the winter months ahead, Cheshire Police is reminding motorists to drive to the conditions of the road and take care.

What I found really interesting was the observation that many crashes come as the result of someone committing a ‘fatal five’ offence – driving carelessly, speeding, drink or drug driving, using a phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt. (Obviously I am interested given I was recently guilty of committing one of the ‘fatal five’ offences.)

Needless to say, in the face of these appalling statistics, David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, had his say, warning: “Road safety is a critical issue for all communities.

“Most have been affected at some point by injury or death caused by road traffic collisions, and all will have experienced risks using the roads.

“Making our roads safer is one of my key priorities and something I am constantly campaigning for to make Cheshire safer.

“There have been too many tragic deaths and serious injuries sustained on Cheshire’s roads over the last four months and I am urging the public to listen to the advice given by Cheshire Police and drive carefully to prevent any further deaths from occurring.”

Hard to argue with that, but where do you stand on the Cheshire Police request for people to submit dashcam footage to them, even after an incident may have occurred. They promise they will act on video footage and a spokesman said: We do not do this for the sake of it, we do it to save lives.”

Fair enough, but it does feel a little ‘Big Brother is watching you’.

On a completely different topic, I have a question for you. Do you think local lockdowns work as a response to the pandemic?

I ask this after both Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Cheshire were placed in Tier 2, the so-called ‘High’ risk level, while neighbours Runcorn and Widnes were put in Tier 3, ‘Very High’ risk level and at the time of writing the simmering row about putting Greater Manchester into Tier 3 was continuing.

I accept the picture is muddled and confused. Happily, you can meet with five other people outside, including in private gardens, in Tier 2 and bars and restaurants are still open but nevertheless, life is far from being ‘normal’.

If you try to drive into North Wales, you run the risk of picking up a fixed-penalty fine and you are strongly advised not to visit Runcorn (I could insert a joke here about being strongly advised to not visit Runcorn under any circumstances, pandemic or not).

At the risk of pointing out the very obvious, things were always going to get worse when universities went back after summer with millions of young people criss-crossing the county, despite the fact many universities were geared up for online-only teaching.

And of course, schools are open even in Tier 3 areas.

The evidence is irrefutable that schools have the potential to be problematic. There is a school not a million miles from here where five out of the seven year groups were told to stay away, with almost 50 members of staff self-isolating at home.

Personally, I’m not convinced these local lockdowns are working and unless something drastic is done soon, we’re heading towards a pretty grim winter as the dark evenings approach.

And it also looks like Christmas is going to be pretty grim as well if you can’t have people from outside your bubble in your home. We’re already psychologically preparing ourselves to having our first Christmas on our own in 40 years.

Have we missed a trick here? Surely the best thing to do would have been a short, sharp ‘circuit breaker’ total lockdown to coincide with the October school half-term break.

That could have bought the time to fix the mess that Test and Trace has become and help to mitigate the risk of our hospitals becoming overrun with ICU beds swamped by Covid-19 patients.

There’s much talk of the effects on people’s mental health over the course of the pandemic and I wouldn’t seek to minimise that.

But I do think a clear plan, clearly communicated would go a long way towards easing people’s minds. And we just don’t seem to have one. What a shambles.