Drop in deaths and injuries on Borders roads

Dozens of people were killed or seriously injured on the roads in the Scottish Borders last year.

Saturday, 8th August 2020, 7:00 am
The number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents in the Borders fell slightly in 2019 compared to 2018 – but tragically, six people lost their lives on the area’s roads.

Road safety charity Brake said a rise in fatalities across Scotland is “unacceptable”, and called for improved rural road safety and stricter traffic enforcement as a deterrent to dangerous driving.

In 2019, 74 people were killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the Scottish Borders, Transport Scotland figures show.

This was a decrease on the year before, when there were 83.

Of last year’s total, six were fatalities – down from 12 the year before.

The figures represent all accidents that happened on a public road and involved at least one vehicle, horse rider or cyclist.

Across Britain, 29,588 people were killed or seriously injured last year – a slight decrease on the year before.

The number of fatalities also dropped slightly to 1,748, but rose from 160 to 168 within Scotland.

The DfT warns against comparing year-on-year figures, however, due to changes in 2016 to the way some forces record the severity of injuries.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, said: “The increase in road deaths in Scotland is unacceptable – every one of these deaths was a preventable tragedy.

“We urgently need to see improved rural road safety and more widespread adoption of 20mph in towns and cities in Scotland, alongside stricter enforcement to act as a real deterrent to dangerous and illegal driving.”

Across Scotland, there were 7,590 casualties in total last year – almost half the number a decade ago.

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance said the figures show some signs of progress, but that there is still some way to go.

A spokesman for the organisation added: “ScORSA will continue to forge partnerships between industry and government to make Scottish roads safer for all and work towards the Vision Zero ambition – where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads.”

In the Scottish Borders, the total number of casualties, which includes non-serious injuries, fell from 505 to 219 between 2009 and 2019.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “These figures for 2019 show that yet again, overall road casualties on Scotland’s roads remain at their lowest levels since records began.

“Sadly, it remains the case that from this lower total number of casualties, more people have died on Scotland’s roads compared to last year.

“While we are on track to exceed our reduction target for fatal collisions, I know that this offers no comfort to the friends and family of those who have tragically lost their lives.”