Increase in fatalities on Scotland’s roads

Picture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin

Two hundred people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2014.

The figures from Transport Scotland show that despite the total number of casualties falling by two per cent between 2013 and 2014, the number of fatalities rose by 16 per cent, from 172 to 200 and the number of people seriously injured also increased by one per cent to 1,694.

The figures also show that 1,040 of these casualties involved children.

2014 saw a five per cent reduction in car users seriously injured and a small decrease in bus and coach users seriously injured but other modes of transport saw increases in the number of people seriously injured.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has reacted with disappointment to the report, stating it made the Scottish government’s mid-term review of its Road Safety Plan all the more urgent.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “While in many areas figures are falling, in some very important ones they have risen alarmingly.

“There has been a lot going on in road safety in Scotland with projects such as the A9 average speed cameras coming on stream but the challenge of breaking the link between rising traffic and crashes remains a huge one.

“Alongside the government the IAM want to see more incentives for individuals and companies to improve the quality of their driving and riding. New roads and new cars have delivered year on year death reductions for decades but the underlying human factors involved must now receive even higher priority.”

Michael McDonnell, Road Safety Scotland director said: “Road Safety Scotland remains a key partner in the delivery of the Road Safety Framework, and has delivered a number of education and awareness campaigns, including one encouraging motorcyclists to take extra care on left hand bends.

“Road safety is a lifelong learning process and safe journeys are what everyone should expect when they leave home each day, no matter what their mode of travel.

“For our young people this includes safe travel to and from school, and powers are now being devolved to allow legislation to ensure young people are safely buckled-up on these journeys.

“We have also developed a suite of resources for use in schools during the formative years, so that children and young people have access to high-quality road safety education.

“For example, we recently launched an app for 8-11 year-olds, and a new website for early secondary pupils which focuses on the issues which make them vulnerable on the road.

“In addition, we have developed a number of campaigns to change road user behaviour in relation to such things as in-car safety, driving on country roads and the influence parents have on their child’s future driving style.

“Ultimately, however, we need all road users to take ownership of their own safety and that of those with whom we share the roads daily – it’s everyone’s responsibility.”