Be careful on busy roads, says new cop campaign

A campaign focusing on road safety for children, cyclists and the elderly has been launched by Police Scotland.

The national Vulnerable Road Users campaign kicked off this week in time for schools returning for a new academic year — and the message is to be vigilant when crossing the road.

Police report that child pedestrians are most at risk before and after school hours, at 8am and between 3 and 6pm, with a peak at 3pm.

Some 72 of the 200 people — 36 per cent — who died on Scotland’s roads in 2014 were from these three groups, and a further 2,664 vulnerable road users were injured.

And cops say that fatal crashes are most prevalent in August, with adults more likely to be killed or injured on Fridays and Saturdays, again 3-6pm.

Chief superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing, said: “Pedestrians, especially the young and the elderly, are particularly at risk, and as kids across the country go back to school, we want to make drivers think about how their actions, carelessness or inattention may impact these vulnerable groups.

“After nearly eight weeks of holidays, the roads will again be busier in the mornings and during the late afternoon.

“We are asking drivers, parents and children themselves to be careful, and to develop new stay safe routines as the school term starts.”

Officers will be driving the message home during the campaign, running until spring 2016.

Both cyclists and children travelling to and from school have made headlines in The Extra recently.

One cyclist complained that Ayr Road in Newton Mearns was the worst in greater Glasgow when it came to drivers facing off against bike users — prompting debate on The Extra’s social media sites on the rules of the road.

East Renfrewshire Council has also announced plans for an off-road cycle path linking schools together as part of the Go! Newton Mearns project — although some neighbours complain about its location, and impact on the surrounding area.