A REDUCTION in the number of accidents involving young drivers has been identified as a key priority in Fife’s new road safety action plan.
While 17-25 year-olds make up just 10 per cent of licenced drivers in Fife, they are involved in one in four of all road accidents.
So while the Kingdom’s road safety record is one of the best in the country – exceeding all Scottish Government targets for reducing casualty numbers – much of the focus is now on improving the driving sense and skills of young drivers.
Councillor Pat Callaghan, executive member for transport and the environment, said: “Through working more closely with schools and developing smarter and more effective ways to engage with younger people, we will strive to embed good road safety awareness, skills and behaviour in the way we all use the road.”
Around one in five young drivers is involved in a crash within six months of passing their test, with males twice as likely as females to be involved in a crash.
Evidence also shows that crashes involving young drivers often include young passengers, many under the age of 16, and Cllr Callaghan said it was important to target this age group.
Initiatives such as the Pass Plus scheme, which is aimed at new drivers, and the Safe Drive Stay Alive road safety events, which highlight the horrific and often tragic consequences of irresponsible or careless driving, have already earned Fife several Prince Michael of Kent Road Safety Awards for excellence in driver education.
The Road Safety Action Plan also focuses on enforcement action to tackle speeding and drink and drug driving, and the use of traffic calming measures, particularly around schools.
Implementing the action plan will require the continued involvement of the Council, police and fire service, community safety partnership, Fife Safety Camera Partnership and NHS Fife, and Cllr Callaghan said they would all work to build on their successful record over the past decade.
He said: “Together we exceeded all the national casualty reduction targets to 2010 and the last 10 years has seen record low casualty numbers.
“However, at this time of year when it gets dark early and the roads are often icy we all have to be extra careful. Every casualty is one too many and we’ll never stop looking for ways to improve.”