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Shock tactics call to drive down toll for tragedy on Angus roads

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A call has been made for the deployment of shock tactics against older bikers in the drive to cut the toll of tragedy on Angus roads.

It comes after recent data showed the district has failed to meet three out of four key casualty targets.

A working group set up to tackle the issue has been urged to focus particular attention on middle-aged motorcyclists who are dying at an alarming rate on rural routes.

The hard-hitting Safe Drive Stay Alive programme used to educate school pupils on the dangers they face behind the wheel has been held up as the sort of strategy which could be applied to put the brakes on seasoned motorists.

Safe Drive Stay Alive is a no holds barred initiative aimed at young people

Figures for 2017 showed 10 people died on Angus roads against a target of seven, while 43 people suffered serious injuries against a target of 36.

Angus communities committee councillors have agreed to set up a member/officer working group to examine several strands of road safety and inspection, with elected members expressing sorrow and concern about the rising rate of death and injury.

Angus SNP group leader, Forfar councillor Lynne Devine, said: “Both Fire and Rescue and the Police are left to pick up the pieces of irresponsibility on our roads and it is getting worse, there is no doubt about that.

“There’s a lot of work going on in schools, but there are older people who need to be educated.

“We use shock tactics in the Safe Drive Stay Alive programme – perhaps we need to use those same tactics for the older drivers as well.”

Real-life stories of tragedy, dramatic footage and emergency services input are incorporated in the young people’s initiative.

The graphic content of the Safe Drive presentations is used to dramatically drive home the consequences of bad behaviour behind the wheel and frequently leaves youngsters visibly upset.

Montrose SNP colleague Bill Duff said: “looking at the wider area there were 23 people killed on Tayside’s roads, eight of them motorcyclists.

“In the data underlying those fatalities, they were almost all men in the 48 to 65 age bracket, riding high-powered bikes over 1,000cc.

“I would be very much looking for the member/officer group to take that data on board.

“I think that’s a serious issue. The police keep making the point that the danger on Angus are the rural roads; in general terms the towns are pretty safe but it is in the countryside where the real bad accidents are occurring.”

Angus Provost Ronnie Proctor said: “One person losing their life on our roads is one person too many.

“There are many contributing factors to road accidents, but the main contributing factor is the road user.

“It is too easy to blame the road surface, the weather or something else, but if people would be mindful about how they drive I think these figures would be curtailed quite a lot,” said the Kirrie Conservative.

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