Engaging more people in accident prevention is crucial in cutting the number of casualties on Scotland's roads, RoSPA's Road Safety Congress in Glasgow will hear today (Monday, February 25).
MSP Stewart Stevenson, the Scottish Government's Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, will give the opening address at the conference, which runs until Wednesday (February 27) at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
Stewart Stevenson said: “There are still far too many people dying on Scotland's roads. We must look at new ways of getting road safety messages across to drivers of all ages if we are to stop more families suffering the tragedy of a loved one being lost.
“To do that, we need engagement from everyone in Scotland – from drivers, to road safety experts, the police, young people and others.
“The Scottish Government is currently working on a new 10 year road safety strategy for Scotland, drawing on the expertise of some of our leading thinkers on road safety, but we want engagement from all in this process.
“Conferences like this one from RoSPA are vital in sharing ideas and experiences, but I would urge everyone to have their say on the shape of things to come. Our consultation on the new Road Safety Strategy for Scotland gives people the chance to do that, and we are keen to hear their views.”
Also among today's speakers will be Prof Stephen Stradling, of the Transport Research Institute at Napier University, who will talk about attitudes in Scotland to car use and speeding. He will explain how both issues have implications for road safety and environmental agendas.
Elaine Barrie, Assistant Principal Transportation Officer at Renfrewshire Council, will give a presentation about how local people were involved in the council's Community Road Safety Initiative and Community Speedwatch to address problems of anti-social driving in their neighbourhoods.
Around 300 delegates will hear speakers from across the UK during the three-day conference, which is sponsored by Britax.
Among the other items on the programme are reports on the success of neighbourhood road safety initiatives, funded by the Department for Transport, which engaged local communities in innovative projects to reduce the high numbers of road casualties seen in deprived areas.
There will also be presentations about: young drivers; older drivers; the future of driver training and testing; cycle training; how the Ministry of Defence addresses road safety at home and overseas; and the role of fire and rescue services.
Willie Wills, RoSPA's Road Safety Manager for Scotland, said: “I am very happy that RoSPA's Road Safety Congress is being held in Scotland this year.
“The theme of the conference is quite appropriate for Scotland's roads and indeed ties in with the Scottish Government's aim to get people involved in drawing up a new road safety strategy.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting road safety professionals from across the country. The level of attendance indicates the interest in and enthusiasm for the promotion of road safety in the UK.”
There were 314 deaths and 17,135 total casualties on Scotland's roads in 2006. In Britain as a whole in 2006, 3,172 people were killed on the roads and there were 258,404 total road casualties.
For more information about RoSPA's 73rd Road Safety Congress, including full programme details, see www.rospa.com/road/