Road Safety Charity In Plea To Drivers

17 November 2014, 06:20 | Updated: 17 November 2014, 06:22

A motorist is fined for careless driving or speeding every five minutes in Scotland, according to new figures.

Road safety charity Brake said 105,807 fixed-penalty notices were issued for such offences in Scotland in 2013 - amounting to one every five minutes.

And more than two in five children in Scotland say they have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike.

Brake's campaign, to cut down on deaths and injuries on the roads, is being backed by bereaved families from Scotland, where 172 people were killed and 1,667 seriously injured on the roads last year.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, urged motorists to drive with more consideration for others, look carefully and stick to 20mph or below in towns and villages.

She said: ``When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific - people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness.

''At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury.

''And there are wider consequences if we don't look out for each other on roads - people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles.''

Last year 102,320 fixed-penalty notices were issued for speeding and 3,487 for careless driving, according to the figures released by Brake and its partners RSA and Specsavers.

Brake also released the results of its survey of 900 primary school children in Scotland.

It found three in five (62%) children think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling, and more than two in five (44%) said they have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike.

One of those backing the campaign is Caroline MacIntyre, whose husband Jason, 34, a well-known Scottish racing cyclist, died after he was hit by a truck while on his bike on January 15, 2008.

She said: ''The crash has had a catastrophic impact on our lives; it is with us on a daily basis, not only for me, but for our daughters. It has been seven years since the crash and it never gets easier. I'm not sure it's fully sunk in for any of us yet. As an up and coming cycling star he had lots of supporters who were also devastated.''

She described him as the ''most incredible husband and father'' who ''put his family above anything''.

She added: ''It is devastating for me to be bringing up our children without their father. It takes just a few moments to double check for vulnerable road users like Jason on his bike, and a moment of impatience can cost someone their life. Is that something you can live with on your conscience?

''So my message to drivers is please, slow down and take your time to look out for people - don't risk destroying lives.''

The campaign is being launched at the start of Road Safety Week, which is co-ordinated by Brake.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: ``This campaign raises awareness of key issues which need to be addressed if we are to continue to make good progress towards meeting our road casualty reduction targets.

''Working with our partners we must continue to ensure that everyone plays their part to make our roads safer.

Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing for Police Scotland, said: ''Road safety is one of the top concerns for our communities and a high priority for Police Scotland and as such we welcome the opportunity to support Brake's national Road Safety Week.''