Drivers urged to consider rural risks

DRIVERS in Angus are being asked to consider their risk factor as part of a new campaign aimed at reducing risky behaviour on Scotland’s country roads.

More than 70 per cent of drivers across Scotland admit to taking risks whilst driving, and just over half confess to speeding, according to research carried out by the Scottish Government as it launches the new campaign with Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland).

Latest government statistics reveal the extent of the dangers on Angus roads, with 45 fatal and serious injuries occurring in the area in 2010, taking the five-year total between 2006 and 2010 to 217.

Across Scotland, statistics show that three out of four road fatalities occur on country roads.

A new campaign was rolled out across Scotland from Friday to make drivers aware of how even minor distractions and driving a bit too fast to read the road properly can cause serious accidents on country roads.

Risk-taking is strongly related to gender and age, and the riskiest drivers on Scotland’s roads are men under 45. Three quarters of those killed or seriously injured on rural roads are males, and one third are young drivers aged between 17 and 25.

The campaign features a series of different adverts that are aimed at tackling the complexities around the risk-taking behaviour of male drivers. It encourages them to watch their speed and concentrate on the road in order to reduce the risks when driving on country roads, which should, in turn, reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.

Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, Tayside Police, said: “As we approach spring, road users should be mindful that road and weather conditions can still change in an instant. This is especially true when using country roads where the number of potential hazards is far greater than on a dual carriageway or motorway.

“Statistics across the country show that the majority of fatalities occur on country roads and Tayside is no exception.

“The tragic consequences that can arise from a momentary lapse in concentration are all too apparent. When things go wrong, the impact on those involved can be devastating and life changing. In the majority of cases these are situations that can be avoided by simply heeding some common sense road safety messages.”

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