National campaign highlighting country roads hazards

TAYSIDE Police, along with all other Scottish Police Forces, are set to take part in a national campaign intended to enhance driver awareness in respect of the various hazards which can present themselves on country roads.

This three-day operation runs from 7 am on Friday (April 22) to 7 am on Monday (April 25), and will see increased police patrols on rural roads providing education and where appropriate also enforcing legislation.

Sergeant Watson Fraser, based in the HQ Road Policing Department, said: “Generally statistics show that the majority of fatalities occur on country roads and Tayside is no exception.

“At this time of the year and with the good weather that we have been enjoying the volume of traffic using these roads is beginning to increase. All road users must however be mindful that road and weather conditions can still change in an instant.

“This is especially true when using country roads, where very often the range of potential hazards can be far greater than those generally encountered on a dual carriageway or motorway.

“For example consider what may be up ahead or around the next corner, such as water or mud lying on the road surface, hidden junctions with perhaps slow moving vehicles, horses, walkers, or cyclists. You must be prepared for any eventuality which might arise.

“The tragic consequences that can arise from a momentary lapse in concentration are all too apparent.

“Unfortunately a minor error can be catastrophic and when things go wrong the impact on those involved can be devastating and life changing.

“Experience has shown that many of these situations could have been avoided if only some simple common sense road safety messages and been heeded.

“I would encourage drivers and riders to consider the unexpected, think of the dangers or potential risks and reduce their speed to give themselves that one vital advantage – time to react.”

Tayside Safety Camera Partnership (TSCP) will be providing safety camera enforcement in support of this and other road safety campaigns with high visibility enforcement taking place on country roads such as the A93, A94, A85, A923 and A91.

The presence of safety cameras should remind drivers and riders that they are on a road with a history of collisions and casualties along with evidence of excessive speed. TSCP aim to make people think about their driving and to encourage safer, more responsible use of the roads whilst deterring them from exceeding the speed limit, all with the intention of assisting in reducing the number of collisions and severity of casualties.

Arron Duncan, Tayside Safety Camera Partnership Manager, said,: “People may think they know the country roads well due to driving them regularly.

“However, knowing the road doesn’t mean you know what is going to happen on that particular road at any given time.

“It’s this unexpected element that means people should be driving or riding within the speed limit and very importantly at an appropriate speed for the road and weather conditions thereby giving themselves time to react and stop should they need to.”