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Fife road safety partners insist work paying off, despite deaths doubling in a year

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Road safety partners in Fife insist efforts to reduce crashes and casualties are paying dividends, despite the number of road deaths doubling in a year.

Ten people – including one child – died as a result of road accidents in Fife during 2018 compared with just five the year before.

The number of serious injuries also shot up from 82 to 97. However, the number of slight injuries reduced from 334 to 323 in the same period.

A new report detailing the statistics also estimates that the cost of road crashes in Fife last year soared to more than £45.4 million, up from the £33.3 million estimate given in 2017.

That figure is based on Department for Transport valuations which take into account the human, economic and direct costs of damage to vehicles and property, together with police and insurance administration.

SNP councillor Ross Vettraino, who convenes Fife’s environment, protective services and community safety committee, said the total number of road casualties had fallen from 1,012 in 2004 to 430 last year,

And he stressed the long-term trend across all categories was down.

“It’s clear that the numbers will not reduce in a straight line every year but there is a longer term trend of reducing casualties,” he said.

“There’s a tremendous focus placed on road safety in Fife through adopting a multi-agency approach.

“Through close partnership working on a number of road safety initiatives Fife’s roads are as safe as possible.”

He said 20mph zones, education measures such as Safe Drive Stay Alive and Pass Plus and enforcement action from the police would all play a part in reducing casualties.

Around 29% of the crashes last year involved a failure to look around properly.

Failing to judge another person’s speed was a contributory factor in around one in five crashes.

Six per cent involved careless or reckless behaviour, while 4% involved someone travelling too fast for the conditions.

Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale said: “We know that road safety is a priority to communities throughout Fife, and I want to assure the public that it remains a priority to us.

“Statistics are important to recognise as, behind every single number, is a person and a family affected.

“We aim to keep on reducing casualties on Fife roads, whether by our road policing officers carrying out enforcement activity or our local officers carrying out education at, and around, schools.

“Significant work is also ongoing with partners through initiatives such as the Older Road Users Project, in-car safety clinics, Drivewise and Bikeability which contribute greatly to the education and safety of road users.”

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