Statistics showing the lowest ever figures for road casualties in Scotland have been published, Keith Brown said today.
The figures which provide provisional statistics of road injury accidents and casualties for 2012, show the number of fatalities on Scotland’s roads are down 8% since 2011, with the total number of road casualties down by 2% to the lowest figure ever recorded.
The Transport Minister said:
“The latest data on reported road casualties in Scotland has been published today which provides further encouraging evidence that we are making good progress in driving down road casualties to their lowest ever level.
“However there is simply no room for complacency. While the numbers of fatal accidents have fallen again, one death on Scotland’s roads is simply one too many, and our focus continues to be ensuring we drive the numbers down further.
“While much has been achieved we recognise there is still much to do particularly in respect of safety issues for pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. With our partners, we are investing over £58 million over this spending review on cycling infrastructure, training and road safety messages. This includes a number of cycling safety initiatives including the ‘Give Me Cycle Space’ social marketing initiative to promote driver awareness of cyclists, and to be launched later next month, the ‘Mutual Respect’ campaign which aims to target consistent safety messages to all road users.
“Safer street projects, cycle training, encouraging local authorities to introduce more 20 mph limits across urban areas, our newly updated Cycling Action Plan for Scotland published last week, and a new national cycling summit planned for this autumn – are all further measures we are taking to address safety for the more vulnerable road users. Other specific initiatives like our continuing focus on drink-driving and Road Safety Scotland’s ongoing country roads campaigns, will all play a part too.
Mr Brown added:
“Our co-ordinated approach is based on education, engineering and enforcement - through targeted and innovative road safety campaigns, by working closely with our road safety community partners and by setting very challenging goals, will all help us move closer to our ambitious vision for road safety.”
Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland said:
“Today’s figures are encouraging and show that the partnership approach to casualty reduction is working.
“While it is heartening to see the significant reductions in statistics, it is important to recognise the tragedy that still lies behind the numbers. There is still a lot of work to be done. Reducing road casualties and fatalities is one of the ‘five golden threads’ of policing in Scotland and as such every officer is now focused on improving road safety in our communities.
“In the year ahead I will seek to increase traffic patrols on priority routes, at the right times, to influence road user behaviour and keep the roads safer for everyone. We shall work together with Local Authorities, through Divisional Road Policing Units, to address local concerns and to protect vulnerable groups and the Trunk Roads Patrol Group will strengthen the partnership with Transport Scotland to improve safety and keep Scotland moving.
“Police Scotland remains committed to the Scottish Government’s 2020 casualty reduction targets and every effort will be made to continue the downward trend in the year ahead.”
Ian Aitken, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland said:
“While the overall statistics for road safety have improved, the statistics relating to vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists are concerning. The annual summit between the Transport Minister Keith Brown and senior transport officials from local authorities in September will provide an opportunity to focus on cycle safety as one of its priorities.
“At the end of July, we will launch the Scottish Government funded “Mutual Respect” Campaign for all road users. If we are to get 10% of journeys made by bike, people have to feel that cycling is a safe activity and therefore we need to see the ongoing reductions in casualties that other modes are seeing, happening for pedestrians and cyclists as well.”