Road safety schemes are helping but more is needed - Steve Cardownie

I’ve travelled the A9 for over 20 years now and have seen the changes brought in by the Scottish Government as it grappled with the road’s terrible accident record.
Traffic queuing on the A9 at Luncarty, north of Perth, a week ago. Picture: John DevlinTraffic queuing on the A9 at Luncarty, north of Perth, a week ago. Picture: John Devlin
Traffic queuing on the A9 at Luncarty, north of Perth, a week ago. Picture: John Devlin

An increase in duelling of the road coupled with Average Speed Cameras dotted throughout from Perth to Inverness have attempted to address the problem, but work still needs to be done.

Average Speed Cameras recorded 14,999 offences along of the whole of the A9 between January 2018 and October of last year.

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Figures for casualties make alarming reading. Over the last five years there were five deaths in 2015, 10 in 2018, six in 2019, four in 2020, four in 2021 and 11 in 2022 with the total road deaths in Scotland that year reaching 174.

The figures of 1759 seriously injured and 3654 slightly hurt paint a pretty bleak picture of road safety in Scotland.

In Edinburgh the introduction of 20mph speed limits on many of our roads looks like achieving the desired results with research suggesting that road deaths have been cut by almost a quarter and serious injuries by a third.

Prior to the new speed limits, 45 out of 100 cars travelled above 25 mph and one year later that figure dropped to 31 out of 100. The number of collisions in one year fell by 40 per cent to 367 with a drop in casualties of 409 - a drop of 39 per cent.

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Despite fierce opposition to the new 20mph limit from some quarters in the city but with The City of Edinburgh Council ploughed ahead and can claim that they have made the city’s roads that much safer.