The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Char­ity points to ‘alarm­ing’ death toll on our roads

Cam­paign: Fig­ures in fo­cus for start of safety drive

- BY KIRSTEN ROBERT­SON Personal Safety · Society · Disasters · Accidents · Scotland · Joshua Harris · Kwik Fix · United Kingdom · Scottish Water · Specsavers

The “alarm­ing” num­ber of ac­ci­dent deaths on Scot­land’s roads has led a char­ity to call on com­mu­ni­ties to do more.

Anal­y­sis by the road safety char­ity Brake re­veals that, on av­er­age, 34 peo­ple die or are se­ri­ously in­jured on Scot­land’s roads each week.

In 2018, 161 peo­ple were killed – up 11% from 145 in 2017 – and 1,582 se­ri­ously in­jured.

The find­ings were pub­lished to­day to mark the launch of Road Safety Week, with its mes­sage, “Step­ping up for Safe Streets”.

Cam­paign­ers are try­ing to ed­u­cate the na­tion on steps that could cut deaths and se­ri­ous in­juries on the roads, such as 20mph lim­its in ur­ban ar­eas.

In re­cent months, the ris­ing num­ber of road deaths in the north-east and High­lands has been de­scribed as “deeply con­cern­ing.”

Joshua Har­ris, di­rec­tor of cam­paigns for Brake, said: “Th­ese find­ings paint an alarm­ing pic­ture of the dan­ger on Scot­land’s roads and yet it’s what we’re all ex­posed to, ev­ery day, when get­ting about.

“We shouldn’t have to ac­cept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are call­ing on ev­ery­one to step up for Road Safety Week and shout out for the so­lu­tions that we know can make our roads safe.”

Brake is sug­gest­ing that peo­ple choose to leave the car at home, to help im­prove safety and air qual­ity, or pledge to be a safe driver – al­ways keep­ing within speed lim­its and never drink­ing or tak­ing drugs and driv­ing.

Road Safety Week 2019 part­ners, Scot­tish Wa­ter, Kwik-Fit and Spec­savers, are also back­ing the cam­paign for safer streets, with Kwik-Fit of­fer­ing free ve­hi­cle safety checks at its more than 600 cen­tres across the UK and Spec­savers tour­ing a vir­tual re­al­ity driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, to en­cour­age peo­ple to make sure that their eye­sight is good enough for driv­ing.

Scot­tish Wa­ter has a se­ries of events planned at its ma­jor sites across Scot­land.

Brake is also en­cour­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ties to take part in a sur­vey about the safety of the streets where they live, by go­ing to road­safe­ty­week. org.uk/sur­vey.

The char­ity’s anal­y­sis has so far dis­cov­ered that 28% of adults in Scot­land re­port hav­ing been in­volved in a road col­li­sion or near miss.

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