RGU to play key role in North East road safety survey

Wednesday 17 May 2023

RGU's Sir Ian Wood Building
RGU is part of a major road North East safety research project aiming to find the reasons behind a significant reduction in road traffic collisions and casualties between 2011 and 2020.

Across the Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray council areas over the ten-year period there was a 79% fall in the number of reported collisions with a 76% reduction in reported casualties. 

But the relative contributions of various factors behind the falls remain unclear. While Covid-19 restrictions had an impact on 2020 figures, the statistical pattern prior to this final year reveal significant reductions year-on-year and it is this sustained period of fewer collisions and casualties which has interested road safety professionals locally.

As part of an annual bidding process in 2022, Road Safety North East Scotland secured a grant of £24,809 from Transport Scotland’s Road Safety Evaluation Fund to undertake the research under the title – ‘Safety in Numbers: an investigation into reductions in road traffic collisions and casualties across North East Scotland between 2011-2020.’ 

It is understood to be the only research of its kind being undertaken in Scotland and while the emphasis will be on the North East, the results may have wider road safety related implications.

The research will include analysis of statistical collision and casualty data; engagement with north-east road users and road safety professionals; and analysis of relevant policy and road safety campaigns with an anticipated completion date around June 2023.  A final report will be produced for Transport Scotland with the hope that any learning obtained can be used to further reduce road casualties and collisions – both locally and nationally.

Caroline Hood, Lecturer in Sociology at Robert Gordon University, said: "We are grateful to continue our relationship with Transport Scotland and Road Safety North East Scotland on a topic that impacts everyone, regardless of how they travel. This current research builds on previously completed work on motorcycle safety in north east Scotland and we hope this work can contribute to achieving Scotland's commitment to the target of zero road deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

“We look forward to hearing about the experiences and perceptions of members of the public on road safety and incorporating this into our research. We would urge all road users whether they walk, wheel, cycle, ride, or drive to participate in our online survey.”

Rab Dickson, Director at Nestrans and Chair of Road Safety North East Scotland, said: “We are delighted to once again be working with Robert Gordon University who are supporting us by undertaking this important research.

“The road collision and casualty reductions experienced locally over the 2011 – 2020 period were significant yet we remain unclear about why they have occurred.  We can speculate over the causes citing issues such as: road improvements; safer vehicles; road safety campaigns and changes in road user attitudes and behaviours, however, the fact remains that we cannot confidently attribute the reductions to specific causal factors.”

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