THE number of injuries caused by road accidents last year in Fife was a record low for the area - down by 48 on the previous year’s total.
In 2012 there were 421 recorded road crashes resulting in 549 casualties, compared with 597 in 2011.
At last year’s most severe incidents seven people were killed, compared with 11 in 2011, and one hundred people were seriously injured whilst 442 suffered only slight injuries.
Initiatives such as 20mph zones, the Pass Plus scheme, Safe Drive Stay Alive events, and mobile safety camera deployments have all been highlighted as reasons for the reduction.
Dr Bob McLellan, head of Fife Council’s transportation and environmental services hailed the reduction as “pleasing”.
He said: “There is a tremendous focus placed on road safety in Fife through adopting a multi-agency approach, where close partnership working on a number of parallel road safety initiatives is ensuring that Fife’s roads are as safe as possible for all users. However, there is no room for complacency and we will continue to strive in reducing casualty rates still further.”
What makes the figures surprising is that they include the start of the 2012 winter, which had the most prolonged period of freezing temperatures in living memory.
As a result,from the end of October 2012 up until the middle of April 2013 Fife’s road network had to be gritted on 220 separate occasions.
Around 26,000 tonnes of salt - double the amount of an average winter - was used.
And around 1000 potholes were repaired in just one week in January and temperatures in March were almost 20 degrees lower this year than they were last.
Bob McLellan, continued: “Our gritter drivers have done a brilliant job keeping us moving 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all the way through the last five freezing months.
“Collectively they’ve travelled 316,800 miles in their gritters this winter, which is over 12 times the circumference of the Earth.”