Road Safety Campaign targets inappropriate driving

SPEEDERS and dangerous and careless drivers will be targeted this weekend by Tayside Police as part of a national road safety campaign.

During the three-day campaign, which runs from 7 a.m. on Friday (July 20) to 7 a.m. on Monday (July 23), officers will seek to educate drivers and their passengers about the dangers of inappropriate driving and speeding, as well as enforcing the law.

Other offences including seatbelt and mobile ‘phone offences will also be dealt with as they too can have a devastating impact on road safety.

Tayside Police Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman, head of roads policing, said: “With schools still on summer break this is an important and timely reminder to drivers that they must be aware of the increased numbers of children who will be on and about our roads.

“Drivers need to be alert at all times when children are around, as there is always the potential for them to step out or run into the road without warning.”

He went on: “Summer weather seems to be in short supply just now, but the fairer weather will also bring out greater numbers of cyclists and walkers and the roads will be busier as a result. Hardier souls will also be out in the rain and can be more vulnerable due to reduced visibility caused by spray from surface water as well as the downpour.

“In urging drivers to drive according to the conditions, we also ask them to drive according to who and what is around them at any given time and reduce their speed accordingly. A speed limit is not a target to drive to at all times.”

Inappropriate driving takes many forms. What some may regard as a minor indiscretion, such as checking a ‘phone to see who a text message is from, can have tragic consequences. For example, a few seconds inattention can be the difference between stopping in time as a child runs into the road and not. Choosing whether or not to check the phone really can be the difference between life and death.

While inappropriate driving can endanger other road users, it can also distress and infuriate residents, whether they live in the town or country.

Tayside Police is committed to dealing with such anti-social behaviour. Where a vehicle is repeatedly being used in such a manner the police have powers under the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 Section 126(3)(b) to seize the vehicle.

Since the powers have been introduced, almost 500 vehicles have been seized in Tayside, with costs in excess of £100 to each owner who sought to reclaim their vehicle.

Chief Inspector Bowman continued: “People who choose to drive inappropriately or speed put themselves and all other road users in danger.

“Drivers must take responsibility for their actions but we would also ask passengers in vehicles not to sit in silence if the person driving is speeding or driving inappropriately. No one should tolerate this type of irresponsible and selfish behaviour. It puts you and everyone else in peril.

“Working with the public we have reduced the number of collisions and injuries on our roads, but devastating collisions still take place. Working together we can reduce those risks still further not least by taking a stand against unnecessary and inappropriate driving behaviour and speeding. We can all make our roads safer for everyone. The message is simply Don’t Risk It.”

Tayside Safety Camera Partnership (TSCP) is supporting the day of action and will be deploying fixed and mobile safety cameras to locations across the region where there is a history of collisions and speeding.

Arron Duncan, Partnership Manager for the TSCP, said: “Excessive or inappropriate speed increases both the likelihood of a collision and the severity of the injuries resulting. Therefore, our aim through highly visible enforcement is to modify driver behaviour and reduce the number of collisions and casualties on roads in Tayside.

“As always we would encourage motorists to reduce their speed and drive within the set speed limit and according to the changing road and weather conditions that they encounter.”

Anyone who witnesses inappropriate driving or has any information that could assist Tayside Police should call 0300 111 2222 or speak to any officer.