Mr Stevenson was speaking as he named members of an expert group set up to help advise on what more can be done to combat the problem. The aim is to inform a new 10 year strategy on road safety for Scotland.
On the group are a range of leading thinkers on road safety:
- Chief Constable John Vine, ACPOS
- Neil Greig, Director, IAM Trust
- Michael McDonnell, Road Safety Scotland
- Steve Stradling, Professor of Transport Psychology, Napier University. Expert in driver behaviour.
- Jane Greer, Chair of Institute of Road Safety Officers and first policewoman in Fife to achieve a Class 1 Advanced Driving Certificate
- Dr Steve Lawson, Technical Director, Road Safety Foundation and European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP)
- Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People
- Bob McLellan, civil engineer with a doctorate in project/construction management. Head of transportation services at Fife Council and past Chair of the Society for Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) Engineering Committee.
"Too many lives are being lost needlessly on Scotland's roads. We have all seen the devastating consequences of road accidents, and sadly, this has been all too evident in recent weeks.
"It appears that drivers, particularly those under the age of 25, are still taking unnecessary risks and putting lives in danger.
"We need to think carefully about what more we can all do to stop the tragedies we are seeing week in, week out.
"The expert group I have announced today are some of the leading thinkers on road safety in this country. They are from a range of different backgrounds, and they will help us explore the options available to us all to try and halt the death toll on Scotland's roads.
"Each fatality is one too many, and from a government perspective, we want to produce a new 10 year strategy on road safety for Scotland. The expert panel will help inform that new strategy.
"We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to improve road safety across Scotland."
The Minister announced on June 12 that he would be bringing together experts from across Scotland and beyond - the police, advanced driving experts, road safety organisations, the Children's Commissioner, youth groups and others - to advise on what more could be done and identify options to provide greater protection for drivers. This will help to inform a new 10 year strategy for road safety in Scotland.
Recent statistics showed a 10 per cent increase in road fatalities on Scotland's roads.
Next week, ACPOS will be holding a young driver summit. Members of the expert panel and the Transport Minister will be attending this important police summit to hear views on what can be done on young drivers.
The Scottish Government recently funded a six month pilot scheme in the Grampian Police area, aimed at increasing take up of the Pass Plus post test driver training scheme. Pass Plus provides training on elements of driving not covered in the driving test, including driving in town, on rural roads, at night, in all weathers, an dual carriageways and on motorways. The Government paid £75 towards the cost of the training in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray Council areas. When added to existing discount from councils, this gave young people 90 per cent off the cost of the pass plus course. The pilot has recently come to an end and the Government will be analysing the results.
Biographies of panel members are as follows:
John Vine, Chief Constable, Tayside Police
Mr Vine was Assistant Chief Constable in Lancashire Police and was appointed Chief Constable for Tayside Police in November 2000. He is a past President of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland (ACPOS) and currently Chairs the ACPOS Road Policing and Operational Policing Business Areas. Mr Vine is also Vice Chair on the board of the Scottish Police Services Authority.
Neil Greig, Director, IAM Motoring Trust
Neil was Head of Policy with the AA Motoring Trust having worked in a similar role with the AA since 1992. He was National Programmes Director for EuroRAP (European Roads Assessment Programme) coordinating accident risk analysis work in several European countries. He has recently been appointed Director of the IAM Motoring Trust.
Neil is an advisor to the CBI Scotland Transport Committee and is actively involved with many of the new Regional Transport Partnerships in Scotland. He is a member of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme Advisory Board and is Chair of the Publicity Committee of Road Safety Scotland and a member of the Scottish Accident Prevention Council.
Michael McDonnell is the Director of Road Safety Scotland. He has a Diploma in Theology and a Degree in Divinity, and was a primary school teacher before embarking on a career as a local authority road safety training officer. In 1990, he was appointed Road Safety Manager (Scotland) with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), and Secretary of the Scottish Accident Prevention Council (SAPC), before taking up his current post in September 2004. Michael is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of Road Safety Scotland, and has particular responsibility for its publicity and advertising activities. Michael was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Road Safety Officers in 1997.
Prof. Steve Stradling, Professor of Transport Psychology, NapierUniversity
Stephen Stradling BA (Hons), PhD is Professor of Transport Psychology at Napier University's Transport Research Institute where he has been for 9 years. Previously he worked in the Driver Behaviour Group at Manchester University.
Jane was a serving Police Officer with Fife Constabulary. She was the first Policewoman in Fife to achieve Class 1 Advanced Driving Certificate. She became Road Safety Organiser in Fife in 1990 and was appointed Fife Road Safety Manager in 1997. Jane is the current Chair of the Institute of Road Safety Officers Scottish Group.
Mr McLellan is a civil engineer with a doctorate (PhD) in project/construction management. He was Director of Roads at Angus Council from 1995 to 2001 and was appointed Head of Transportation Services for Fife Council in 2001. Bob is a past Chair of the Association of Municipal Engineers (AME) (Scotland) Branch and past Chair of the Society for Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) Engineering Committee. He was also Chair of the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SESTRAN) between 2003-2005. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Highways and Transportation and a Fellow of the Institute of Asphalt Technology.
Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People
Kathleen Marshall is a qualified solicitor. She was Director of Scottish Child Law Centre from 1989 to 1994 and has worked as a child law consultant. She is Visiting Professor at the Glasgow Centre for the Child & Society at the University of Glasgow. In April 2004, she took up post as Scotland's first Commissioner for Children and Young People, with a remit to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young people in Scotland.
Dr Steve Lawson, Technical Director, Road Safety Foundation and EuroRAP AISBL
Dr Lawson is a chartered transport planner and has a PhD in the statistical modelling of road traffic accidents. He worked on vehicle design and crash protection at Birmingham University and on traffic and accident analysis in West Midland highway authorities. He led the AA Foundation's collaborative programme with Birmingham City Council and Birmingham University on projects including accidents to young pedestrians and traffic cameras. From 1991-2006 Dr Lawson was AA head of policy research. As the Technical Director within the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) he has been project manager for the programme from its inception in 2000 and expansion to 23 countries. He has also been an external advisor to the European Union Road Federation.