Drivers urged to slow down

Road care: Drivers and pedestrians are being reminded to look out for each other
Road care: Drivers and pedestrians are being reminded to look out for each other

Research shows that 87 per cent of Scots think a collision with a pedestrian at 30mph would not be fatal.

The reality is that pedestrians are seven times more likely to be killed if hit at 30mph than at 20mph. The research from Censuswide surveyed 1,000 Scottish drivers and pedestrians.

More pedestrians are being killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads with 95 per cent of accidents happening on built-up roads.

“In Town Slow Down” is a campaign by the Scottish Government to encourage drivers to reduce their speed in built-up areas and remind those behind the wheel and those on the pavement to look out for one another.

“It’s important to drive at an appropriate speed for the environment and the conditions, looking out for pedestrians at all times,” says Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland. “Simple mistakes can have serious consequences. The message is simple: in town slow down.”

The survey also found that almost a third of drivers (30 per cent) admit to rushing through town if they are running late for work or a meeting while 17 per cent of respondents said they would drive faster to pick up their children on time.

Superintendent Fraser Candlish, deputy head of road policing at Police Scotland, hopes the In Town Slow Down campaign will go some way to reducing the number of pedestrians who are killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads said: “Reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is a priority for us all,” says Candlish.

“During 2014 there were more than 1,700 pedestrian casualties in Scotland, which included 56 fatalities. It’s a simple message. People should drive sensibly in town centres; they should slow down as the number of hazards increases, and keep a watchful eye for pedestrians at all times.”

Alexandra Hayden (24) from East Kilbride, was rushing to catch a bus when she was hit by a car and flipped on to the bonnet. Luckily for Alexandra, the vehicle was only travelling at around 15mph.

“It was so busy at rush hour and I was determined to catch a bus I’d just seen so I ran across the road and didn’t look to see if any cars were coming,” she says. “I saw the car at the last minute and it hit me on the side and sent me flying. I had whiplash and bad bruising as I went over the bonnet and hit the wing mirror. I landed back down on my tailbone and all my lower back and my backside was badly bruised.

“I do feel lucky because it could have been worse. Looking back, I realise I could have died. It was really scary.”

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Road facts

• A pedestrian is seven times more likely to be killed if hit at 30mph than at 20mph

• 95 per cent of injury accidents involving pedestrians happen in built-up areas

• Two-thirds of people walk as a method of transport at least once a week

• Less than half of drivers (47 per cent) look out for pedestrians at junctions

• 51 per cent of pedestrian casualties occur at junctions

• Adult pedestrian casualties peak between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays and between midnight and 2am at weekends