Shock­ing toll of deaths and in­juries

Fig­ures high­light the daily car­nage, says safety boss

Paisley Daily Express - - It’s Back To The Classroom For Mums And Dads - Chris Taylor

Some­one is in­jured on Ren­frew­shire’s roads nearly ev­ery day, shock sta­tis­tics re­veal.

Trans­port Scot­land say that 1,759 peo­ple were hurt in ac­ci­dents over the last five years.

Cops were called out to 26 deaths on car­riage­ways across the re­gion.

Ja­son Wake­ford, di­rec­tor of cam­paigns for road safety char­ity Brake, has called on the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment to cut the speed limit in built-up streets to 20 mph.

He said: “The fig­ures graph­i­cally il­lus­trate the daily car­nage tak­ing place on roads across Bri­tain.

“Progress on road safety has stalled, press­ing the need for a road col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion branch sim­i­lar to those al­ready in ex­is­tence for air, rail and sea, so that lessons can be learned to pre­vent fu­ture crashes.

“Only through in- depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion at a na­tional level can so­lu­tions be found to stem the need­less deaths on the roads ev­ery day.

“A de­fault 20mph limit across built up ar­eas in Scot­land of­fers a golden op­por­tu­nity to save lives, pro­mote sus­tain­able trans­port and im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Trav­el­ling at lower speeds dras­ti­cally re­duces the risk of death and se­ri­ous in­jury and en­cour­ages more walk­ing and cy­cling – re­liev­ing pres­sure on the NHS and other pub­lic ser­vices.

“We are also call­ing for a re­view of speed lim­its on ru­ral roads, where most deaths oc­cur.”

In­juries on roads across the district are on the rise af­ter a pe­riod of de­cline.

There were 430 peo­ple hurt on all car­riage­ways five years ago.

This fell by a quar­ter to 319 just two years later.

But the num­ber need­ing treat­ment af­ter an ac­ci­dent surged to 363 in 2016 – al­most one in­jury for ev­ery day of the year.

Among those hurt were 61 pedes­tri­ans.

Most of the in­juries were sus­tained on mi­nor roads in builtup ar­eas and ac­counted for 168 treat­ments.

Across Scot­land, 190 peo­ple were killed on the road – up 14 per cent from 2015.

As well as the in­crease in fa­tal­i­ties since 2015, the num­ber of peo­ple se­ri­ously in­jured also in­creased by six per cent to 1,697.

Hol y rood launched a con­sul­ta­tion into re­duc­ing the speed limit af­ter a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill was lodged by Green MSP Mark Ruskell ear­lier this year.

Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil has backed the pro­pos­als and in­sists the change would re­duce ac­ci­dents, cut emis­sions, cre­ate a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists and save fuel and car main­te­nance costs for driv­ers.

Mum Ch­eryl John­stone, 32, suc­cess­fully cam­paigned to have the speed limit halved on the Glenif­fer Braes where her daugh­ter Niree, five, was killed.

The tot died af­ter the car she was trav­el­ling in was in­volved in a col­li­sion on Glenif­fer Road in July 2016.

Ch­eryl con­vinced coun­cil chiefs to in­state a 30mph zone and was key in hav­ing road signs and mark­ings re­newed and over­grown shrubs hacked back.

Brake has also called for more sup­port for those new to the road and backs tech­nol­ogy, which re­stricts cars to the speed limit on dif­fer­ent car­riage­ways.

Mr Wake­ford added: “New driv­ers con­tinue to be in­volved in a dis­pro­por­tion­ately large num­ber of col­li­sions.

“Brake is call­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of a grad­u­ated li­cens­ing sys­tem, in­clud­ing a min­i­mum learn­ing pe­riod and re­stric­tions for newly-qual­i­fied driv­ers, to help new mo­torists build up their skills and ex­pe­ri­ence more safely and over a longer pe­riod of time.

“Th i s a p p ro a c h ha s dra­mat­i­cally re­duced young road ca­su­al­ties in coun­tries in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, New Zealand and across many states in the USA.”

Po­lice Scot­land has launched a safety scheme aimed at im­prov­ing aware­ness among new driv­ers.

Of­fi­cers have used footage of a real- life fa­tal car crash to warn young driv­ers about the dan­gers of peer pres­sure and in­ex­pe­ri­ence.

It has been shown to 1,000 mo­torists, aged 17 to 25, with lo­cal au­thor­ity bosses pledg­ing to put all ap­pren­tices through the course.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ste­wart Carle, head of Road Polic­ing, says teams are work­ing hard to tar­get those break­ing the law and re­duce ac­ci­dents.

He said: “Po­lice of­fi­cers have to deal with these tragic in­ci­dents far too of­ten and through this we know that the ef­fects are devastating, for be­reaved fam­i­lies and those who have to cope with the im­pact these col­li­sions have.

“Com­mu­ni­ties con­tinue to raise road safety and speed­ing as is­sues of con­cern and re­duc­ing road ca­su­al­ties and fa­tal­i­ties.

“Our po­si­tion is that road col­li­sions are avoid­able and so there­fore are the deaths and in­juries.

“We shall main­tain a high vis­i­bil­ity pres­ence at pri­or­ity lo­ca­tions on the road net­work across the coun­try to mon­i­tor road- user be­hav­iour and take nec­es­sary ac­tion when re­quired.”

Shock­ing More than 1,700 peo­ple were hurt in ac­ci­dents over the last five years in Ren­frew­shire

Frus­trat­ing Po­lice say most ac­ci­dents are avoid­able

Grave con­cerns Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ste­wart Carle

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