Road accident figures buck national trend

Latest figures show the number of road traffic fatalities in the Borders has decreased, despite a national rise in deaths and serious injuries.

The figures were released this week by Transport Scotland.

They show that the number of fatal and serious accidents in the Borders police catchment area during the period 2010-14 were down on those in the four years between 2004 and 2008.

The 2010-14 figures, which consist of the average of each of those four years, show seven fatal accidents, nearly half the 12 in the earlier four-year period.

Overall in the region, the number of accidents fell from 399 to 264.

Transport minister Derek Mackay said this week: “The increase in fatalities and the number of people seriously injured in road accidents in 2014 is disappointing. However, it also demonstrates the need for every one of us to take responsibility when using the road network. The longer term downward trends and the annual decline in the total number of casualties, to the lowest level since records began, are encouraging but more can, and must, be done.

“At the Road Safety Framework Strategic Partnership board meeting earlier this month I launched a review of our progress in delivering the Road Safety Framework to 2020. Transport Scotland are working together with road safety partners to assess the progress that has been made to date, with the aim of redoubling our efforts and focus through to 2020 and beyond. Fatalities in 2014 were down 31% from an average of 292 for 2004-08.

“Some of the recent interventions such as the change in Scotland’s drink-drive legislation – which has seen us leading the way in the United Kingdom – will undoubtedly help prevent the tragic and unnecessary loss of lives on our roads. Other innovations such as the A9 average speed camera programme are already delivering benefits. We are also encouraging councils to cut speed in towns and cities through our revised 20mph limit guidance. I am confident that these developments will have a positive impact going forward.”