Blairgowrie Advertiser

Speeding rise putting pressure on officers

- KATHRYN ANDERSON

Police resources are being “challenged” by a spike in reports of speeding on Perth and Kinross roads.

A total of 874 offences were recorded in the region between April 1 and June 30, 2021 – a 109 per cent increase from the same period last year. Drivers were caught doing speeds as high as 118mph.

The figures were revealed in the latest quarterly police report to Perth and Kinross Council’s housing and communitie­s committee on Wednesday last week.

A total of 1483 speeding offences were detected across Tayside – with the majority taking place in Perth and Kinross.

Drivers were caught going as fast as 118mph, 112mph and 107mph in a 70 mph limit zone, with one racing on a 60mph road at 104 mph.

In his report Chief Superinten­dent Phil Davison said police resources were stretched as a result.

He said: “Police resources are being challenged by an increasing number of complaints received in relation to road users exceeding the speed limit.

“Police along with local authoritie­s will conduct percentile speed checks to establish if there is indeed an issue.

“A vast number of these checks highlight the perception of speed is the issue rather than road users exceeding the speed limit.

“The perception of speed can also be attributed to modified vehicles which are significan­tly louder than a standard motor vehicle.

“Younger drivers are especially a challenge given their inexperien­ce behind the wheel accompanie­d by peer pressure from their passengers.

“This has been compounded significan­tly due to the Covid pandemic which will lead to annual education programmes such as Safe Drive Stay Alive to be postponed. This was a lost opportunit­y to influence younger driver behaviour which may never be regained.”

Conservati­ve Blairgowri­e and Glens ward councillor Caroline Shiers praised the previous work done in programmes such as Safe Drive Stay Alive, which she said had a “huge impact on the young people who attend”.

Cllr Shiers asked what approaches were being explored to educate young drivers.

Chief Supt Davison said it was important as traffic road usage increases to accelerate the focus back on to enforcemen­t and education.

Chief Inspector Graham Binnie echoed the importance of Safe Drive Stay Alive programme and said there was a recognitio­n it worked and they needed to reinvigora­te it.

Conservati­ve Strathmore councillor Colin Stewart asked how the police enforced new road safety measures such as 20mph, 40mph buffer zones and school exclusion zones.

Chief Supt Davison said they responded very much in an intelligen­ce-led way from community concerns as to where they set up speed detection

CI Graham Binnie said: “The prioritisa­tion of where we do our speeding enforcemen­t is often primarily based on where the highest risk of death and serious injuries are.”

He said the national position was that the police would not routinely enforce all 20mph zones due to the “sheer number” and look to other methods of prevention and engineerin­g around the roads to try and prevent increased speeds where the 20mph limits are.

He added: “It is worth acknowledg­ing that there are additional vulnerabil­ities around these 20mph zones and one you have highlighte­d is schools.

“We will look to enforcemen­t activity around those .”

 ??  ?? Slow down Dealing with reports of speeding can stretch police resources
Slow down Dealing with reports of speeding can stretch police resources

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