WE are now fully in the swing of summer and while Scottish weather can be unpredictable at best, we should (hopefully) see a prolonged period of warmer, dryer days, that extend to lighter evenings.

This, coupled with the fact that schools are now on holiday and many people will be travelling throughout Scotland and further afield, means the road network with the Lothians and Scottish Borders has already become busier, with increases in traffic due in the coming weeks.

The summer months will see significantly higher numbers of motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, and horse riders out and about, as well as even more pedestrians.

It is essential, therefore, that all road users take appropriate steps to keep themselves, and others, safe when using the road network.

If you are bringing your motorcycle out of storage for the summer, it is vital that you give it a thorough inspection to ensure it remains road worthy and fit to deal with any and all conditions you may face.

Checking tyre pressure and tread, as well as testing breaks are an important safety step to take before setting off on your first journey of the year.

If, and when, you are out on our roads, please remember to wear high-visibility clothing and a robust helmet, to keep you protected in the event of an accident and always ride responsibly and safely.

Our national motorcycle safety campaign, where we aim to educate motorcyclists and other road users on how to avoid collisions, is already under way and if you require any useful information on staying safe while on your motorcycle, then please visit our website at www.scotland.police.uk.

Our advice in relation to high-visibility clothing and helmets also goes for pedal cyclists and horse-riders, so please also take all necessary steps to protect yourself from injury.

For cyclists, please also make sure your bike has lights fitted for if you are cycling in reduced light.

Automated vehicle drivers have a very important role to play when it comes to keeping our roads safe by always driving within the speed limits and adjusting accordingly, based on the conditions you face on the roads.

Please also ensure you give appropriate time and space to pass motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, and horse riders and be particularly mindful of these road users when pulling out from junctions.

For pedestrians, our advice is to always cross at designated zones, do not attempt to cross from behind a parked vehicle and keep young children or animals in your care close to you whenever you are near a busy road.

I hope everyone has a terrific summer and please help us ensure that our roads remain safe for everyone wishing to use them over the coming weeks and months.