Road safety education

Councillors have approved funding to ensure road safety education officers continue to provide a “valuable service in Aberdeenshire.”

Dedicated provision of local road safety education by the police ended as of April 1.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) heard recently that the authority had stepped in to ensure the public sector continued to take a key role in this area and put in place two posts focusing on transport safety education.

The remaining two road safety officers at Police Scotland in Aberdeen transfer to the Aberdeenshire roles as of Tuesday of last week.

Head of transportation, Ewan Wallace, told ISC: “These officers will be continuing to work across our communities and in our schools while looking to develop opportunities around transport safety with other stakeholders as well.”

Infrastructure Services Committee chairman Peter Argyle was happy the funding had been found.

He said: “Road safety education is something that’s essential, something we regard as a high priority.

“Police officer input to road safety education is a valuable element of the information and advice we give to young people.

‘‘However, the specialist role that these road safety officers have provided is crucial and the action of the council will see that continue.”

Councillor Argyle commented on what he referred to as “cost-shunting in the public sector,” highlighting that shifting responsibility for services from one authority to another isn’t actually saving any money.

Vice chair Alan S. Buchan added: “We know it’s important to provide people with all the facts and evidence available from the best of sources to help them stay safe when they travel anywhere.”

Councillor Ian Mollison referred to it as “smoke and mirrors.”

He added: “It seems peculiar that money is saved by the new police service but it costs us, and more - we don’t get funding for it.”