30 December 2016
Commenting on the newly released collision figures in relation to the A9,Highlands & Islands MSP and long-time road safety campaigner, David Stewart said
"Like all other politicians and indeed the public in general, I welcome any reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury collisions on the A9, with the latest statistics showing a reduction in fatal road collisions of 43% and serious injury collisions down 63%.
“However, I find it always strange that the SNP claim this reduction is entirely down to the introduction of the average speed cameras.
"At the same time as the average speed cameras were introduced, so was the increase in the HGV speed, which was a campaign lead by local trucker, Conor McKena his colleagues and my own team.
"The fact remains that as a result of work we did with the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) we were able to establish that you could reduce frustration, if the difference in the traffic mean speed was reduced.
"Previously HGVs on the A9 legally travelled at 40mph whilst cars could legally travel at 60mph.
"The mean difference in the two speeds was 20mph and this fact and issue was a contributory factor is congestion and frustration.
"By reducing the mean speed of all traffic, or put another way, by reducing the gap between the slowest and fastest to 10mph,it was proven that this could reduce congestion and at the same time reduce frustration and allow traffic top flow better.”
David continued :
“ Speed and Driver behaviour are the main causes of most collisions, so if we reduce the capability to speed and at the same time reduce frustration and allow the traffic to flow smoother, then we create much better driving conditions.
"In relation to the A9, the improved safety record is as a direct result of a combination of different elements from the average speed cameras, through to the increased HGV speed, including the work of road safety groups and organisations such as my own one NOSDAT – (North Of Scotland Driver Awareness Team) and of course ,increased Police activity and much better driver education. It is not the case that the average speed camer