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
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.