Campaigners call for action as death toll rises on Scotland's roads

 

Campaigners have called for action after the number of people killed on Scotland’s roads increased for the first time in the eight years.

Official statistics from Transport Scotland showed 200 fatalities in 2014, an increase of 16% and up 28 since 2013, with 1,694 seriously injured, an increase of 22 or 1% more than 2013.

However due to a 3% fall in those slightly injured, (at 9,346) the devolved nation had its lowest number of overall casualties since records began in 1950 – with a total of 11,240 road casualties reported in 2014, (264 or 2% fewer than 2013).

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for the road safety charity Brake, said the numbers show more needed to be done to improve safety.

‘Unlike other parts of the UK, Scotland has the power to act independently to tackle the problem. Holyrood has the power to do more, including setting a 20mph default urban speed limit across Scotland - the increase in pedestrian casualties has highlighted the importance of this to protecting people on foot and bike,’ he said.

‘The Scottish Government has also expressed its willingness to push for a graduated driver licensing pilot in Scotland to cut young driver crashes, a measure we urge them to pursue. By implementing these measures, we are hopeful that Scotland could turn the tide and set an example for the rest of the UK.’

Transport minister, Derek Mackay, said: ‘The longer-term downward trends and the annual decline in the total number of casualties, to the lowest level since records began, are encouraging but more can, and must, be done. Fatalities in 2014 were down 31% from an average of 292 for 2004-08.

‘Some of the more recent interventions such as the landmark change in Scotland's drink-drive legislation - which has seen us leading the way in the United Kingdom - will undoubtedly help prevent the tragic and unnecessary loss of lives on our roads.

‘Other innovations such as the A9 average speed camera programme are already delivering benefits and significant investment is improving safety for cyclists. ‘We are also encouraging councils to cut speed in towns and cities through our revised 20mph limit guidance. I am confident that these developments will have a positive impact going forward.’

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