Scotland’s transport minister says that the country’s road safety record is showing signs of ‘real improvement’.
Derek Mackay made his upbeat assessment as he published the 2015 Road Safety Framework Annual Report, while also stressing there is more work to be done to continue this trend.
The report outlines progress made in the last 12 months towards the Scottish Government’s road safety targets.
It highlights ‘the continued success’ of drink driving legislation, introduced by the Scottish Government in December 2014, which it describes as leading the way in the UK.
The report also focuses on the ‘positive developments’ with seatbelts on school transport and the ‘dramatic improvements in driver behaviour’ on the A9 following the introduction of average speed cameras.
It reveals that numerous Scottish cities are exploring the possibility of implementing 20mph speed limits in city centre streets following the publication of the Scottish Government’s revised guidance.
In October 2015, national statistics confirmed there were 200 reported road deaths in Scotland during 2014 – a 16% year-on-year increase. In the same time period there was also a 2% rise in the number of people seriously injured.
On the back of this, the transport minister announced a review of the progress towards delivering 2020 casualty reduction targets.
Derek Mackay said: “The publication of this annual report shows we are doing the right things, at the right time, in the right place as we continue to press hard for improvements in Scotland’s road safety record. Preventing loss of life on our roads is a shared responsibility and Scottish ministers remain resolute in our efforts to drive down risks.
“That’s why, through Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020, we are implementing a raft of measures alongside partners to keep us on track towards our ambitious casualty reduction targets.
“Further, the Review of the Framework that I commissioned last year has helped ensure our efforts remain as effective as possible, identifying three priority areas: speed and motorcyclists; pre-driver, drivers aged 17 to 25 and older drivers; and cyclists and pedestrians for further focus.”