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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Road figures make 'grim reading'
Speed cameras
Police vowed to continue action on tackling driver attitudes
Police have released figures showing a sharp rise in the five main causes of accidents or casualties on the roads in Dumfries and Galloway.

The force said the statistics on driver behaviour made "grim reading".

Dangerous and careless driving, use of mobile phones, speeding, failure to wear seatbelts and drink-driving offences have risen in the last year.

Sgt Scott McLachlan said "poor attitudes" had to be changed to reduce the number of deaths in road crashes.

A total of 25 people were killed in road accidents in Dumfries and Galloway in 2006.

The message to drivers is simple - drive carefully and within the law or be prepared to face the consequences
Sgt Scott McLachlan

Police have now revealed a 26% increase in the number of drivers reported for dangerous and careless driving in 2006/07, compared with 2005/06.

Drink-driving was up as well, with an 11% increase over the past 12 months.

The sharpest rises have been seen in the failure to wear an appropriate seatbelt at 111% and the use of mobile phones, up 79%.

Police said the figures illustrated that driver behaviour was getting worse, despite frequent road safety messages and an increased police presence on the road.

They said many motorists were paying "scant attention" to their safety and the safety of others.

In addition, they said the "poor and irresponsible driving" may go some way to explaining the high number of road crashes in the region last year.

Safety risk

Sgt McLachlan, from the road policing unit, said the figures were not completely surprising, considering the number of accidents last year.

However, he said there had been a slight drop in the number of people killed or seriously injured at the start of 2007, compared with the same period a year ago.

"By looking at the figures it is clear there are a large number of drivers out there who are prepared to ignore traffic laws and by doing so they put everyone's safety at risk," he said.

Road policing
Education is seen as an important part of tackling the problem

He highlighted the case of a motorist caught this week with three children in the back of his car.

"The eldest, a nine-year-old, was holding a nine-month-old baby on her lap and neither had any means of restraint or a suitable child seat," said Sgt McLachlan.

"His third child, a two-year-old, was also seated with no means of restraint or suitable child seat.

"This was particularly bizarre as both he and his wife had taken the time to fasten their own seatbelts.

"It is poor attitudes like this that must be stopped if we are to reduce the deaths on our roads."

Sgt McLachlan said the force remained committed to tackling these issues.

"As well as showing a visible presence on the road, officers have been actively trying to get the road safety message across through education," he said.

"The message to drivers is simple - drive carefully and within the law or be prepared to face the consequences."


SEE ALSO
Move to cut young driver crashes
20 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Driver phone attitude 'shocking'
07 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Drivers 'ignoring' drinking laws
06 Feb 07 |  South of Scotland
Police blitz on uninsured drivers
03 Jan 07 |  South of Scotland
Stark drink-drive warning message
14 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland

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