IAM ‘disappointed’ in increase in road fatalities in Scotland

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has reacted with disappointment to the big increase in fatalities on Scotland’s roads as announced this morning by Transport Scotland, stating it made the Scottish government’s mid-term review of its Road Safety Plan all the more urgent.

Brake calls for action from Scottish Government

Brake, the road safety charity, is urging the Scottish Government to take decisive action to reverse an alarming rise in deaths on Scotland’s roads. The most vulnerable road users bore the brunt of the increase, with 18 more pedestrians killed than in 2013.

The increase in Scottish road casualties reflects a worrying trend across the UK. Statistics for the year ending September 2014, released in February this year, showed a 4 per cent increase in deaths and serious injuries for Great Britain as a while.

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, said: “The statistics from Scotland reaffirm the grim fact that became apparent in February – road casualties across the UK are heading in the wrong direction, with many more senseless, preventable deaths and life-changing injuries. However, unlike other parts of the UK, Scotland has the power to act independently to tackle the problem. The Scottish Government has already taken strong, positive action by lowering the drink drive limit, but as this only came in towards the end of 2014, it is too early to see an effect.

“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. 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.”

Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2014 figures show of the total of 11,240 road casualties reported in 2014 there were 200 fatalities – 16 per cent more than 2013.

There were also 1,694 seriously injured, some 22 or 1 per cent more than 2013. Figures show there was a 44.6 per cent increase in motorcycle casualties including 31 fatalities.

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.”

The IAM’s Manifesto addresses what the charity believes need to happen to reduce the numbers of those killed and seriously injured on the roads. You can download it here.



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