Road safety charity urges people to abandon cars following increase in Scottish road casualties

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A road safety charity is calling for drivers to leave the car at home to help cut the rising number of fatal accidents.

Brake's analysis of the latest figures for road casualties in Scotland found they equate to an average of 34 people being either killed or seriously injured every week.

The charity wants people to take action to help prevent deaths and injuries on Scotland's roads. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

The charity wants people to take action to help prevent deaths and injuries on Scotland's roads. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

A total of 161 people died following crashes in 2018 and 1,582 were seriously injured.

The number of deaths has risen 11% since 2017, up from 145, while those seriously injured has fallen 1% in the same period.

Slight injuries have dropped 13% to 6,668 and the overall casualty total has fallen 11% to 8,411.

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The charity commissioned a survey which found three in 10 adults in Scotland had been in crash or had a near-miss in the UK in the past 12 months.

Of the 164 survey respondents in Scotland, 46 (28%) said they had been involved in an incident.

'Alarming picture of the danger on Scotland's roads'

To mark the launch of national Road Safety Week on Monday, the charity wants people to take action to help prevent deaths and injuries on Scotland's roads.

Brake campaigns director Joshua Harris said: "These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on Scotland's roads and yet it's what we're all exposed to, every day, when getting about.

"We shouldn't have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to 'step up' for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe.

"This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets.

"Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus?

"If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs?

"Let's all Step Up for Safe Streets and, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone."

Partners Kwik-Fit is offering free vehicle safety checks, while Specsavers is providing a virtual reality driving experience to encourage people to make sure their eyesight is safe for driving.

Vision where no one is killed on the roads

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: "Last month we published finalised, official statistics which confirmed that for another year, road casualties across Scotland are at the lowest levels since records began. While that decrease is welcomed, we have seen an increase in the number of people who have tragically died on our roads.

"While we continue to exceed our 2020 reduction target for fatalities, this fact provides no comfort to the friends and family of those who have sadly lost their lives.

"Road deaths are not an inevitability and they should not be expected to happen. We are committed to working with our partners to secure the ultimate vision established in Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 - Vision Zero - where no-one is killed on our roads."