UNDER-fire traffic-calming measures have been defended in the wake of new figures showing a fall in the number of accidents, reports MIKE DELANEY.
The statistics also show that - for the first time ever - no child casualties were recorded last year.
Speed humps have come in for a barrage of criticism in recent months, amid claims that there are too many of them and they damage vehicle suspensions.
It has further been alleged that they are often deployed inappropriately and are badly designed and built.
But supporters insist that drivers can avoid damage to their cars by driving over the humps at appropriate speeds and that they are, statistically proven, to cut the risk of accidents and deaths.
The latest figures, for the Mid-Fife area which covers Glenrothes, claim the ‘killed and seriously injured’ casualty figure for 2008-2010 was 53 per cent lower than the comparable one for 2000-2003.
Fo ‘all casualties’ in these periods the reduction was 37 per cent
Child casualties were down by down by 48 percent with 2010 the first year with no child fatal or serious injuries recorded.
Fiona Grant, who is chairwoman of Glenrothes Area Committee, which makes decisions on speed humps, said: ”Although drivers know that slowing down saves lives, experience shows us that it is unfortunately only by forcing drivers to slow down that we can continue to decrease accidents on our roads.
“If everyone stuck to the speed limits speed bumps would not be necessary.
“Once the regular speed surveys show that no-one is speeding the matter can be re-considered - until then they are literally vital.”
Two weeks ago, community councillors in Coaltown of Wemyss asked Fife Council to remove humps from the village. They urged the local authority to concentrate resources on ‘boy racers’ and drunk drivers, rather than a “blanket” approach to trying to deter speeding.
The ‘Glenrothes Gazette’ understands that council officials met with driving instructors in the area to discuss their ongoing concerns about road-related matters.
Kenny McLean, of Stenton School of Motoring, has been one of the main critics of the policy.
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