Bereaved mother backs campaign

June Ross pictured with her eldest son, Ian Buchanan, who was killed in a crash in 2010.
June Ross pictured with her eldest son, Ian Buchanan, who was killed in a crash in 2010.

Drivers are being urged to consider their ‘risk factor’ as part of a new campaign aimed at reducing risky behaviour on Scotland’s country roads.

June Ross from Alford lost her eldest son Ian Buchanan in a country roads accident just two days before his 23rd birthday in June 2010. He was a passenger in a car travelling on the B993 Kenmay to Monymusk road when the driver lost control and an oncoming vehicle hit them.

June has since co-founded the support group ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ (DYFAM), which is named after one of her son’s favourite songs, for relatives and friends of road crash victims in the North-east.

More than 70% of drivers across Scotland admit to taking risks whilst driving, and just over half confess to speeding, according to research carried out by the Scottish Government as it launches the new campaign with Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland).

Latest Government statistics reveal the extent of the dangers on Aberdeenshire roads, with 210 fatal and serious injuries occurring in the area in 2010, taking the five-year total between 2006 and 2010 to 987.

A new campaign is being rolled out across Scotland to make drivers aware of how even minor distractions and driving a bit too fast to read the road properly can cause serious accidents on country roads.

Risk-taking is strongly related to gender and age, and the riskiest drivers on Scotland’s roads are men under 45. Three quarters of those killed or seriously injured on rural roads are males, and one third are young drivers aged between 17-25.

The campaign features a series of different adverts, which are aimed at tackling the complexities around the risk-taking behaviour of male drivers. It encourages them to watch their speed and concentrate on the road in order to reduce the risks when driving on country roads, which should, in turn, reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “We know that the biggest risk takers are men under the age of 45, and that around three quarters of those killed on rural roads are men. This hard-hitting campaign will send out a clear message that even minor distractions and driving a bit too fast to read the road properly can cause serious accidents on country roads.”