The Transport Minister has launched a new ten-year road safety framework for Scotland
, which sets what are claimed to be the ‘toughest’ targets in the UK for for reduction of injuries and fatalities.
Among the most controversial of the measures is a proposal to fit speed-limiting devices to cars.
Right, let’s do a reality check on that.
UK Government figures demonstrate that exceeding the speed limit is a factor in just 5% of UK accidents,
while Scottish figures show give a figure of 11%.
According to Scottish figures lmost four times as many accidents
(40%) are caused by drivers losing control.
So where would you target your efforts? On speed limits? Or on factors that contribute to the other 89 to 95% of accidents?
I have no desire to run around Scotland breaking speed limits. But, I am alarmed by a physical limiter restricting my ability to drive my car.
Any advanced driving course will teach you that there can be occasions where you need to use speed to get yourself out of danger.
For example, what do you do if you are in the process of overtaking and someone closes the gap on you? Or, as sadly happens, the car you are overtaking speeds up without warning?
The consequences of not being able to get more speed in these emergency situations does not bear thinking about.
Remember, Scotland’s road accident statistics are an all-time low
and in this country we also rank among some of the safest roads in the world.
That is no consolation to families who have been torn apart by tragedy of losing a son or a daughter. We can, and must, make our roads safer. One accident is one too many.
But, we need to be careful that our efforts are properly focussed and effective.