Brake urges decisive action as Scottish road deaths rise

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

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. Transport Scotland statistics released today show 200 people were killed in 2014, 16% more than in 2013. Serious injuries also increased by 1% to 1,694. 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% 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.”

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

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Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.