New research reveals over a third of drivers (34 per cent) rush through town if they’re running late for work, with more than half (58 per cent) admitting to taking risks when travelling in built-up areas, such as jumping amber lights (19 per cent) and travelling over the speed limit (19 per cent) in a bid to be ‘on time’.
One in 20 also admit to travelling on ‘autopilot’ every day and don’t pay full attention to their surroundings or other road users.
The findings of the survey by the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) mark the launch of a new campaign with a clear message for all road users – In Town, Slow Down.
A number of organisations including Living Streets Scotland, Cycling Scotland and local authorities have already backed the initiative to unite road users and create a greater sense of shared responsibility to help reduce the number of casualties on Scotland’s roads.
Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said: “We are committed to achieving safer road travel in Scotland for everyone and it’s important drivers and riders travel at an appropriate speed for the environment and the conditions, especially in built-up areas where there are many vulnerable road users.
“Whether we drive, ride, cycle or walk, we all share the same road and our actions can have serious consequences. So don’t risk it – the message is simple, in town, slow down.”
Figures show 96 per cent of accidents involving pedestrians happen in built-up areas, with most casualties occurring between 4-6pm on weekdays and between 1-3pm on weekends.
Speed causes accidents. And the harsh reality is that you don’t have to be breaking the limit to be going too fast.
With two-thirds of people walking as a method of travel at least once a week and cycling on the rise, these figures highlight how important it is for all road users to take greater care and consideration when travelling in built-up areas.
Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said: “We’ve come a long way in improving safety for pedestrians but by no means can we rest on our laurels.
“Far too many people are still killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads. People on foot should be safe wherever they walk so I’d urge members of the public to join the #intownslowdown campaign.”
Keith Irving, Cycling Scotland chief executive, added: “Cycling is on the up in our cities and towns and we need to reverse the increase in serious injuries amongst people cycling.
“Engineering, enforcement and education are all essential to make roads safer for everyone, whether we are cycling, driving or walking. This campaign is one of the many initiatives we need to deliver to achieve this.”
Going too fast in town has severe penalties for drivers. The minimum fine for speeding is £100 plus three penalty points.
Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “Reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is a shared responsibility for all agencies and road users.
“It’s shocking that, on average, a motorist is stopped for speeding in Scotland every 11 minutes.
“We hope this latest campaign will reduce casualties among road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists. The message is simple; motorists need to consider other road users, look ahead for hazards and adjust their speed accordingly to the road conditions.”
For more information log on to dontriskit.info or check out the Road Safety Scotland Facebook and Twitter (@roadsafetyscot) pages.