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22 June 2009

Fall In Scottish Road Fatalities, But More Work Needed - Stevenson

Latest provisional road accident statistics for Scotland show a 3% decrease in road fatalities in 2008, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson has announced.

It is the second successive year there has been a fall in Scotland, with road fatalities now at their lowest level for more than 50 years.

However, Mr Stevenson warned against complacency and said that the number of child fatalities remained a particular concern.

The statistics come a week after the Scottish Government published a new 10 year road safety framework which sets out a series of wide-ranging proposals to cut the number of road deaths in Scotland and tough new casualty reduction targets – the most ambitious in the UK.

Commenting on the statistics, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

“With less people being injured and less people dying on Scotland’s roads in 2008, these latest statistics are to be welcomed.

“But behind every statistic there is a family, and behind every number, a tragic story.

“It is absolutely intolerable that people are still dying on our roads each day, and the number of children being involved in road accidents remains a particular concern. The loss of a life, no matter what the age, is a tragedy for any family, but I can’t begin to imagine the heartache felt by the loss of a child.

“Scotland has made good progress in reducing fatalities on our roads, exceeding the current GB targets, but we are determined to do all we can to reduce road accidents even further.

“That is why last week, we announced a new 10 year road framework for Scotland together with wide-ranging proposals to cut the number of deaths on our roads.

“This included a real emphasis on initiatives targeting young people and a ‘lifelong’ learning approach to road safety education from the age of 3 all the way through to when people hang up the keys to their cars for the final time.

“From education, to piloting new technology, to taking action on school buses, and setting the toughest road casualty reduction targets in the UK, we’ve got an ambitious new framework which will save even more lives over the next 10 years and beyond.

“However, we cannot and will not be complacent. Unfortunately, the cost of complacency is often the loss of lives. We will continue to look at new ways of getting road safety messages to people, both young and old, right across the country.

“The road safety community is united in its effort to save lives, and we want this new framework to set us on a downward trajectory leading to an ultimate vision of zero road deaths in this country.”

Stewart Stevenson
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