Memorandum by East Lothian Council (RTS
ROAD TRAFFIC SPEED
In 2000, East Lothian experienced 361 road casualties
(254 accidents), the highest annual total since 1990. This year's
data also shows East Lothian as having the second poorest casualty
reductions of all Scotland's 32 local authorities when the 1996-2000
average percentage change against the 1981-85 figures are compared.
East Lothian Council considers that illegal
and inappropriate speeds
result in more collisions of greater
contribute to a significant proportion
of all crashes and a higher percentage of more serious crashes
result in about a fifth of rural
affect people's quality of life (particularly
vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists) through injuries, noise,
fear and community severance
East Lothian Council believes the most effective
way illegal and inappropriate speeds can be meaningfully reduced
is to progress the recommendations put forward in the following
recent publications, however, Central Government must allocate
appropriate additional resources to local roads authorities.
New Directions In Speed ManagementA
Review of Policy (DETR March 2000)
Taking Action on Speeding(PACTS
Road Traffic Law and Enforcement
(PACTS July 1999)
East Lothian has particular concerns that the
resources for road policing (both police and prosecution services)
have not kept pace with the significant increases in motoring.
Traffic law enforcement has also suffered as a result of a failure
of road policing to be considered as a central element of policing
54 per cent increase in the number
of licensed vehicles in Scotland
15 per cent Police resources addressing
traffic law enforcement in early 80's
6 per cent of Police resources addressing
traffic law enforcement in late 90's
It is not acceptable for Central Government
to try to pass on the responsibility for these issues to local
authorities. What is required is fundamental change throughout
traffic law (increased fines; on-the-spot fines; recycle fines
into enforcement/road safety training and education/traffic management
etc) with sufficient resources provided and sustained.
East Lothian Council believes if the risk to
the driver of being caught significantly increases, speeds will
fall and general driver behaviour will improve. Currently the
majority are driving with little or no concern for others.
Changing driver behaviour is the most difficult
objective but promises the greatest returns.