Death toll claimed by Borders roads up 100%, police report reveals

The site of the crash that killed motorcyclist John Dent in July.
The site of the crash that killed motorcyclist John Dent in July.

A report out this week reveals a 100% increase in the death toll claimed by roads in the Borders.

There were eight fatalities on the region’s roads between April and September this year, up from four over the same half-year period in 2017, according to Police Scotland figures presented to a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s police, fire and rescue and safer communities board today, November 9.

There was also a near-40% rise in serious injuries, up from 28 to 39, and a 47% increase in those killed or seriously injured, from 32 to 47.

The report reveals that motorcyclists or their passengers accounted for three-quarters of the eight fatalities recorded, most of them from outside the region.

A report to the committee says: “It is disappointing to see a 100% increase in fatalities in the Scottish Borders.

“Six of these accidents relate to motorcycles. Four of the riders reside outwith the Scottish Borders and were passing through the area.

“It is hoped that the motorcycle programme introduced into Drivewise this year and the current interest in rolling out Drivewise in other council areas will positively impact on these figures going forward.

“Training community officers and community action team members skilled in the use of handheld radars are utilised to provide a visible presence and to prevent speeding.

“‘Pop-up Bob’, a life-size image of a police officer, is also used to deter speeding.”

On a positive note, there has been a continued reduction in reports of domestic violence over the same period, down from 558 to 510, an 8.6% fall.

The report adds: “This reduction positively reflects on the work being carried out by police and partner agencies to intervene at an early stage, reducing the risk of behaviour becoming criminal.”

Violent crime is also down by 20 per cent and overall crimes reported have fallen from 1,555 to 1,489.

The six bikers involved in fatal crashes included two Northumbrians – John Dent, 53, of Hexham, and Jerry Taylor, 54, of Haydon Bridge, killed by collisions on the A68 near Jedburgh on Sunday, July 8, and on the A6112 near Coldstream on Sunday, October 7, respectively.

Two of the other accidents took place in July too.

Kyle Christensen, 30, of Hawick, died after colliding with a car in his home town’s Eildon Road on Saturday, July 7, and off-duty East Lothian police officer Rhys Prentice, 24, was killed after his Yamaha bike crashed into a silver Peugeot near Galashiels on Sunday, July 15.

Pillion passenger Bronte Hutchinson, 23, of Jedburgh, died after falling off a motorcycle at a roundabout near Galashiels on Sunday, August 5, and a thus far unnamed motorcyclist, aged 43, was killed in a collision on Thursday, September 6, on the B709 between Tushielaw and Wardlaw, near Selkirk.