Scottish Government viewpoint
NEW research shows that the majority (87 per cent) of people in Scotland think a collision with a pedestrian at 30mph would not be fatal, yet pedestrians are seven times as likely to be killed if hit at 30mph than 20mph.
The findings of a survey by the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) come on the back of an increase in the number of pedestrians being killed or seriously injured in Scotland, with 95 per cent of these accidents happening on built-up roads.
A new campaign, In Town, Slow Down, launches this week, and encourages drivers to reduce their speed to allow time to respond to the busy environment of built-up areas and remind pedestrians and drivers to look out for each other.
The campaign will see powerful new visuals highlight just how fragile we really are, with a series of people and scenarios such as a mother and pram, schoolchildren and elderly people, depicted as eggs. The creative shows each pedestrian egg about to be hit by different objects of force including a brick and sledgehammer, all representing a different vehicle that could seriously injure or kill a pedestrian.
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “We are committed to achieving safer road travel in Scotland for everyone and this campaign reminds people of the importance of driving at an appropriate speed for the environment and the conditions in built-up areas.
“We know the risks associated with speed, which is why Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 has identified speed as a key priority and includes a variety of measures to tackle the problem.
“Simple mistakes can have serious consequences for both drivers and pedestrians, which is why we’re reminding drivers In Town, Slow Down.”
The survey also reveals that almost a third of drivers in Scotland (30 per cent) admit to rushing through town if they are running late for work or a meeting, while 17 per cent think it’s okay to rush to pick the kids up on time.
Pedestrians also questioned as part of the survey admit to taking risks while walking through town when in a rush. Over half say they walk through stationary traffic (54 per cent) with over two-thirds (68 per cent) of 17-24-year-olds doing this regularly.
Superintendent Fraser Candlish, deputy head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “Reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is a priority for us all. During 2014 there were more than 1700 pedestrian casualties in Scotland, which included 56 fatalities. Police Scotland is committed to achieving the Scottish Government’s 2020 casualty reduction targets.
“We hope this new campaign will help to reduce the number of pedestrians being killed or seriously injured in Scotland. It’s a simple message. People should drive sensibly in town centres – they should slow down as the number of hazards increase and keep a watchful eye out for pedestrians at all times.”
For more information log onto dontriskit.info or check out the Road Safety Scotland Facebook and Twitter (@roadsafetyscot) pages.