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Caithness News Bulletins August 2005

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September Update
COUNCIL PUTS PUPILS' SAFETY FIRST ON SUTHERLAND ROADS
Motorists in Sutherland are being warned that part time 20mph speed restrictions have been introduced at two more schools in the area, for childrens' safety.

The new speed limits came into force this week at Melvich and Gledfield Primary Schools. These additions bring the total number of schools benefiting from part time speed limits in Sutherland to 6 and in Highland to 33 at present.

These part time speed limits at Melvich and Gledfield come at the same time that drivers in the Highlands are being warned that if they speed in the vicinity of Highland schools then the penalties will be tough.

The Highland Council, Northern Constabulary and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Highlands and Islands Area) recently issued a joint warning to motorists that if they are caught speeding near Highland schools where a part time 20mph limit is in place, then robust enforcement action will be taken by both the Police and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Drivers travelling near the Sutherland schools should be aware that the 20mph part time speed limit applies on school days, Mondays to Fridays at the following schools:

Melvich Primary from 08.30 to 09.05; and 15.00 to 15.15; and

Gledfield Primary from 08.30 to 09.05; and 15.30 to 15.45.

DRIVERS URGED TO GO SLOW AT CAITHNESS SCHOOLS
Part-time 20mph speed limits go into operation this week from Tuesday 16th August, 2005 at Thurso High School, Miller Academy and Halkirk Primary.

With the help of 2.157M funding from the Scottish Executive, The Highland Council aims to get the message across that slowing down near schools saves lives and that reducing the speed limit to 20 mph outside schools significantly improves the safety of children walking or cycling to school.

Mount Pleasant Primary school was the first to receive a 20mph part time speed limit in Caithness area earlier this year, and these additions bring the total number of schools benefiting from part time speed limits in Highland to 26 at present. These schools are part of an ongoing programme for the next four years, which will see all schools in the Highlands with 20mph speed limits.

Highland Councillor Roger Saxon, Chairman of the Caithness Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: "I am delighted that we now have four schools in Caithness with 20mph zones and I look forward to the remaining schools in Caithness getting their speed reduction signs also. It is essential that cars slow down near schools and our school children because speed kills and maims easily. I would urge all drivers to be extra vigilant and observe these new speed limits."

"Reducing our speed from 30 to 20mph more than doubles the survival rate of pedestrians in an impact. Children are particularly vulnerable, because of their height in relation to a car and their different perception of the dangers."

Roads outside schools can be notoriously dangerous places for children travelling to and from the classroom. Injury accidents have fallen by 60%, child pedestrian accidents by 70% and child cyclist accidents by 48% where these 20mph designated measures are put in place.

Drivers travelling near the Caithness schools should be aware that the 20mph part time speed limit applies on school days, Mondays to Fridays as follows:

Halkirk Primary from 08.45 to 09.35; 12.30 to 13.35; and 15.00 to 15.30.

Miller Academy from 08.30 to 09.20; 12.30 to 13.35; and 15.00 to 15.30.

Thurso High from 08.30 to 09.05; 12.40 to 13.35; and 15.30 to 15.45.

With research showing that 20 mph speed limits are an effective vehicle for reducing the number of accidents and severity of casualties on our roads, it is clear to see why all drivers including parents must abide by them. The Highland Council hopes that the new 20 mph signs will raise awareness of the 20 mph speed limit outside Caithness schools and encourage drivers to slow down.

Drew Anderson, Highland Council's Traffic Technician said: "Since implementing the part time 20mph zones around Highland primary schools we have had positive feedback from the public and school staff that the signs are making a difference. However, we cannot be complacent and I would urge those drivers who are still ignoring the signs to give more consideration to the speed limit which is only in operation part time when pupils are coming to and from school."

Children and parents/teachers could also look at the website https://www.roadwise.co.uk/schools/using-the-road/green-cross-code/  which gives useful advice, etc to teach children road safety.

20 mph zones were first introduced in Scotland in 1994 to safeguard children, pedestrians and cyclists.

In September 2003, with additional funding from the Scottish Executive, local authorities were empowered further to establish 20 mph speed limit schemes at schools in their areas.

The total resources available to local authorities between 2003 and 2008 amounts to nearly 50 million.

Helping save lives across Scotland
Research has shown that 20 mph zones have made a significant impact on road safety, reducing child pedestrian accidents by 70% and child cyclist accidents by 48%.

Making a difference locally
The Scottish Executive is committed to achieving targets for a 40% reduction in fatal and serious road casualties and a 50% reduction in fatal & serious road casualties involving children by 2010, compared with the average for the mid 1990s.

Funding is allocated individually to the 32 local authorities across Scotland. This goes towards the implementation of schemes in their areas, namely 20 mph speed limits outside schools, safer routes to school projects and the development of Home Zones.

It is for each authority to determine how they use the resources and which measures they implement (e.g. traffic calming, mini roundabouts, pedestrian footways, crossing facilities, improved lighting & cycle paths).

The hard facts

  • In 2003, 73 kids were killed or injured on their way to or from school, driving home the importance of slowing speed near schools.

  • Nine out of 10 pedestrians struck by a car travelling at 40 mph are killed, while only one out of 10 is killed by a car travelling at 20 mph.

  • Injury accidents have fallen by 60%, child pedestrian accidents by 70% and child cyclist accidents by 48% where these designated measures are in place

In September 2003, the Scottish Executive announced funding to enable all local authorities across Scotland to establish 20 mph speed limit schemes at schools in their areas.

In November 2004, additional funding was announced to help improve the safety of children travelling to and from school, bringing the total resources available to local authorities to nearly 50 million between 2003 and 2008.

In 2003...

  • 21 children aged 0-7 were killed or seriously injured every week on the roads.

  • 26 children aged 8-11 were killed or injured every day on the roads and more than one was killed every fortnight.

  • Young people between 11 and 16 were more at risk of being killed or seriously injured as a pedestrian or cyclist than any other age group.

Useful Web Sites
Hedgehogs

Road Safety Statistics