More work needed to prevent road deaths

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Deaths and injuries on Aberdeenshire’s roads are reducing – but tragically 17 people still lost their lives in 2016.

Figures released by Transport Scotland show there were also 141 people seriously injured in road accidents in Aberdeenshire last year, and a further 269 people suffering less serious injuries.

These figures indicate that efforts to reduce the number of casualties on the area’s roads are having some effect, as they are below the four-year average figures for 2012-16.

During this period, there were an average 20 deaths each year, 171 serious injuries and 366 other injuries.

However, while the downward trend is encouraging, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf says the Scottish Government and road safety partners will “redouble our efforts in order to reach our ambitious and challenging casualty reduction targets set out in Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020”.

He added: “I am resolute in my determination to save lives and to meet the ultimate vision set out in the Framework, where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads.”

North East MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat Transport spokesman Mike Rumbles believes more must be done to tackle the high number of road casualties in the North East.

He pointed out that Aberdeenshire had the third highest number of fatalities by council area in 2016.

Mr Rumbles said: “Action to improve our rural roads across the North East, but particularly in Aberdeenshire, is required to reduce casualties and save lives.

“That means improved signage, prompt repairs and an awareness campaign to address the dangers of rural driving.”