Fewer people are dying on Fife’s roads than ever according to latest statistics.
Fife councillors heard the number of fatalities caused by road accidents fell to five last year, which is half the number of people killed on the region’s roads in 2014.
However, despite no children being fatally injured last year, the number of children sustaining serious injuries increased and failed to meet the Scottish Government’s casualty reduction target.
Last year, 13 children were seriously injured in Fife road accidents.
Fife Council said the low numbers recorded meant there would be “inevitably some fluctuation from year to year”.
Welcoming the reduction in fatalities, Councillor Ross Vettraino, who chairs the environment, protective services and safer communities committee, said there was no room for complacency.
He added: “Ideally there would be no casualties and certainly no fatalities on Fife’s roads as every death means a devastating loss to family and friends somewhere. However, being realistic, this record low figure is to be welcomed.
“It’s clear that the numbers will not reduce in a straight line every year but there is a long term trend of reducing casualties.
“There’s a tremendous focus placed on road safety in Fife through adopting a multi-agency approach.
“Through a number of road safety initiatives, work is ongoing to ensure Fife’s roads are as safe as possible. But, there is no room for complacency and all involved will continue striving to reduce casualties on Fife’s roads.”
In Fife during 2017 there were 311 recorded road crashes resulting in 421 casualties, of which five were fatal, 82 serious and 334 recorded as slight injuries.
By comparison, in 2016 there were 607 casualties of which 10 were fatal, 87 serious and 510 slight.
Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale, road safety chief for Police Scotland’s Fife Division, said he had seen for himself how tragedies on the roads affected communities.
He said: “In the mid-noughties we were seeing 30 people, 15 people, 19 people killed year on year. A lot of these people were young people and a lot of communities suffered significantly with the loss of life.”
Mr Annandale said education programmes targeted at young drivers had helped bring down statistics.
He added: “Driver behaviour is a priority raised by communities throughout Fife.
“We aim to keep on reducing casualties on Fife roads, whether by our road policing officers carrying out enforcement on Fife’s roads or our community officers carrying out education at, and around, Fife schools.”