A powerful new campaign from the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland), urges drivers to watch their speed on country roads and help reduce the number of fatalities.
Country roads account for the largest number of fatal accidents on Scotland’s roads - over half (55%). Last year alone 755 people were killed or seriously injured whilst driving on country roads and three out of four of those were men.
Loss of control is the biggest cause of deaths on country roads, frequently associated with driving too fast for the conditions and leaving too little time to react to unpredictable road conditions and hazards.
The new ad follows a fictional character losing control of his car on a country road with devastating consequences. The emotional campaign is particularly targeted at young male drivers aged 22-40 who have a higher risk of being involved in a crash, and focuses on what they would miss if they weren’t around, with the strapline: “Don’t miss what’s round the corner. Watch your speed on country roads.”
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “We are committed to achieving safer road travel in Scotland for everyone and clearly we are heading in the right direction. However we still have a long way to go, particularly with younger male drivers. This campaign encourages motorists in Scotland to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions, particularly on country roads as there is a higher proportion of fatalities in rural areas.
“We know the risks are associated with inappropriate and excessive speeds, which is why Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 has speed as one of its priorities and includes a variety of measures to tackle the problem.
We have been making good progress, but there is still more to be done to help reduce fatalities on our roads.”
Superintendent Fraser Candlish of Police Scotland said: “We are urging drivers to take extra care on country roads, as you never know what hazards are waiting round the corner or when something unexpected might happen.
“It’s important to drive according to the road conditions as driving even slightly too fast can turn avoidable incidents into serious and ultimately fatal crashes. We hope this new campaign will contribute to a reduction of deaths on Scotland’s roads.”
Scotland and Glasgow rugby player, Stuart Hogg, tragically lost his best friend, Richard Wilkinson, in a crash on a country road in 2009 and is supporting the campaign. Stuart said: “Losing my best mate Richard will live with me forever and was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. It could have easily been me and I think about him every day and all of the things he’s missed out on.
“I’m supporting the new campaign to encourage people to take extra care on country roads and I hope I’m doing Richard and his family proud.”
The campaign is running throughout Scotland across multiple channels including TV, cinema, outdoor, radio, digital advertising, PR and field and partnership.
For more information log onto dontriskit.info or check out the Road Safety Scotland Facebook and Twitter (@roadsafetyscot) pages. The new ad is available to view by clicking here.