Praise for responsible drivers in Argyll and Bute

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Firefighters need motorists to continue to drive incidents down but add the area still sees too many collisions.

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Motorists who stay aware of the conditions and choose to drive responsibly are helping prevent tragedies on the roads.

The message from the area’s Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) team was issued along with figures revealing its crews were called to 17 road traffic collisions in Argyll and Bute during the last three months of 2014.

It is a drop of more than fifth compared to the average of 22 crashes for the same period over the previous three years.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Paul Connelly, who is now the head of service delivery for the west of Scotland, was local senior officer for East and West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute throughout the time covered by the figures.

He said: “I want to thank drivers who have listened to the warnings and are doing their bit to prevent collisions.

“We’ve called on every motorist to understand the risks and make sure they’re not driving in a way that puts themselves, their passengers and others in danger.

“Of course it’s positive to see the number of collisions is down but the fact is there are still too many crashes in Argyll and Bute.

“The 17 incidents here were more than the total in East and West Dunbartonshire combined and they left nine people injured, so that really must remind us all of the need to take care when we’re behind the wheel.”

Firefighters are clear that things can quickly go wrong for even highly experienced drivers with failure to respond to conditions a contributory factor in many incidents.

Heavy and persistent rain does not only reduce visibility and increase the distance needed to stop, it also results in slippery surfaces and obscures damage to the road, making it more likely a driver will lose control of their vehicle.

Wet road surfaces also increase glare from the low and often bright winter sun, meaning drivers can suddenly find themselves struggling to see.

DACO Connelly added: “Collisions can be caused by things completely outwith a driver’s control but being aware of the conditions and driving appropriately makes it far less likely something going wrong will end with a serious incident.

“Giving ourselves time to react to the unexpected really is crucial – it’s important drivers realise that speed limits are a maximum, not a target to reach.

“If a motorist thinks about the weather, surface, traffic and visibility conditions and chooses to drive at an appropriate speed then they really will help to prevent tragedies from happening on our roads.”

 

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