Don’t cut corners on country roads

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FORMER Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard has lent his support to a Scottish government campaign to reduce deaths on country roads.

Glasgow’s urban drivers may have few country roads to travel, but in East Renfrewshire the number of rural areas – and the number of country road deaths – is an ongoing cause for concern.

Around 70 per cent of fatalities on Scotland’s roads occur in rural areas, and the message from Holyrood – and 13-times Grand Prix winner Coulthard – is that you don’t have to be breaking the speed limit to be driving too fast.

According to statistics, many of the drivers killed or seriously injured last year were caught out by unpredictable factors on country roads simply because they were driving too fast to react.

In 2012, over 1,000 fatal or serious accidents occurred – 27 of them in the Glasgow boundary and 44 of them in East Renfrewshire.

In neighbouring Renfrewshire, the death toll rose further, with 94 incidents recorded – 71 of them involving a car and 13 involving a motorbike.

Of last years statistics, three out of four of those deaths were men.

David Coulthard said: “My advice to older and younger drivers alike is to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions and be aware of the limitations of the vehicle you are driving in.

“There is more to driving than just paying attention to the speed limit – you have to drive appropriately for the conditions and drive at a speed which doesn’t hinder your decision-making abilities.”

Transport minister Keith Brown added: “In Scotland we currently have the lowest road casualty figures since records began and fatalities are down by 11 per cent from 2010.

“However, it’s clear that we are still seeing too many fatalities and serious injuries that are avoidable – this campaign can help get the message across that even the most qualified drivers in the world drive to the conditions on country roads.”

David Coulthard will be driving home the message in television and cinema adverts broadcast throughout March, proving through a reconstruction that even F1 legends adjust their speed on winding country roads.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.dontriskit.info or visit the Road Safety Scotland Facebook page.