North east road death toll

With road fatalities now topping 61 this year in the North East, there should be growing concern not just from the public but also from the authorities charged with looking after our roads.

Last night, on the commute home I happened to be the car immediately behind a fortunately minor collision but which could easily have been much more serious.

In the absence of proper roads round Aberdeen (roll on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - 20 years late is better than not at all) we were travelling on a minor route from the Westhill area across to Blackburn. In front was "white van man" driving his vehicle in a manner that only someone who wants to get home from work can.

Despite being in a modern, four wheel drive vehicle and driving reasonably quickly there was no way I could keep up with the determined white van driver.

The inevitable happened. At a 90 degree left hand bend, the white van lost its grip on the road surface and slid into a car coming the other way.

The driver's fault? Of course. He was not driving within the capabilities of the vehicle and the road conditions.

But, if our authorities provided us with roads fit for purpose it would help. That includes the AWPR, but it also means improving other busy roads and it most certainly means resurfacing roads. Over years, inevitably, the passage of thousands of car tyres polishes off the stones that give road surfaces their grip. Resurfacing the road used to be carried out regularly, to ensure that grippy surface was maintained.

Now, resurfacing is a rarity. And that despite road users handing the authorities £36 billion in taxes every year.
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