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Published:: 04/11/2020 15:13:58

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Road Safety: A skill for life

At different points in your life you need different skills.

However, one skill that you will need for the foreseeable future is the ability to stay safe on the road.

Road users of all ages need to understand their responsibilities, and through this understanding improve their attitudes and behaviours for the safety of themselves and others.

Embedding an understanding of road safety principles from an early age helps to develop skills that encourage good decision-making, whether we become pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or drivers.

Messages need to be right for each stage in a person’s life – in early years they need to be crafted to support the Curriculum for Excellence, and create the skills, knowledge and experience required to keep us safe.                                        

Future-proofing road safety

The working age population drives for work, home life, and leisure. With an ageing population and the trend towards extended working lives, road users aged 65 and over should also be a target audience for messaging.

Driving capability depends on personal health and fitness to drive, with age-related frailty being one of the main reasons older road users are more likely to suffer death or serious injury in a collision.

That’s why age-appropriate messaging is as relevant for this generation as it is for young drivers. Have you had to speak to your mum, dad or friend about their driving, and whether it’s perhaps time to let someone else take the wheel?

If you need to have that conversation, check out RoSPA’s experienced driver resources.

Scotland’s Road Safety Strategy to 2030             

This “lifecourse” approach is at the heart of Scotland’s Road Safety Strategy to 2030 and its focus on partnership working, in which each citizen has a role to play in making Scotland’s roads safer.

The consultative document highlights young drivers (17-25-year-olds) as a specific target audience. In 2018, young drivers accounted for 12 per cent of Scotland’s licence holders but 17 per cent of drivers involved in fatal and serious collisions. Road safety Scotland’s #DriveSmart campaign encourages young drivers to drive like gran’s in the car, using evidence-based approaches to reducing the number of young drivers killed and seriously injured.

Please take the time to read the strategy document and help shape Scotland’s Road Safety Strategy to 2030 – our ambition is to have the best road safety performance in the world.

Whether you live in Scotland or not, your “local” road safety experience can also help shape our thinking, so please consider contributing to the consultation.

Dr Karen McDonnell

OSH Policy Adviser and Head of RoSPA Scotland

4 November 2020

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