Road safety

The primary aim of the Road Safety Unit is to reduce both accident numbers and severity on Aberdeenshire’s road network. View our road safety plan 2018 - 2020 (pdf 2.76MB)Our road safety team is committed to making roads a safer place for road and footpath users including cyclists and pedestrians. On this page you can find out more about road safety:

View road safety information on the Transport Scotland website including Strategic Road Safety PlanAdditional information and news are also posted by Road Safety North East Scotland on Twitter.

We are working with Robert Gordon University who are undertaking research about motorcycle safety initiatives in North East Scotland. You can contribute by filling in the Past, Preset and Future Motorcycle Safety Strategies in NE Scotland survey. The survey is open until 14th August 2019.

Casualty reduction

We continue to work hard to reduce the number of casualties occurring on our roads. We do that through proactive route risk assessments, road realignments, sign reviews and development of specific routes for use by cyclists and pedestrians. The number of casualties on north east roads has been significantly reduced since its worse in 1976 (102 fatalities which is almost 2 deaths a week). Aberdeenshire accounts for around 5% of Scotland’s population yet it currently accounts for around 11% of fatalities across Scotland, however it must be noted that we do have over 10% of Scotland's road network.

To reach our vision of zero road fatalities across Aberdeenshire we work in partnership with other organisations and north east local authorities on the North East Scotland Road Casualty Reduction Strategy.

The strategy aims to achieve the national road casualty reduction targets contained within Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020. The framework identified 3 priority all councils areas we need to focus on:

  • Speed
  • Age
  • Vulnerable road users

View additional information about road casualty:

Roads maintenance

Our roads workers risk their lives daily in carrying out maintenance activities and litter picking. Please slow down when approaching any road works. You can view a list of all roads works and restrictions across Aberdeenshire and the type of maintenance activities.

Historically from June to October each year we carry out surface dressing across Aberdeenshire. Surface dressing is one of the fastest and economical ways of sealing road cracks and improving grip. However, it leaves loose chippings for several days whilst they are properly embedded into the carriageway by passing traffic. It is important to adhere to the speed limits when traffic restrictions as the chippings can be torn out by high speed movements. Unfortunately, despite sweeping, these chips can collect in the less used portion of the carriageway for some time and cause hazard to motorists, particularly motorcyclists, so please drive accordingly. 

Road assessment

The Roads Maintenance teams maintain over 5,400km of roads across Aberdeenshire and are fully committed to maintaining and improving the condition of these roads. Their progress on their annual road works improvement programme.

The Road Safety Unit works alongside the Road Maintenance teams to ensure a safer driving experience by carrying out proactive assessments of our main arterial routes and routes that have higher than average collision history. By collating detailed road inspection data, it is possible to identify where collisions on these high risk roads could potentially happen in the future. By creating Safer Roads Investment plans to target where future investment can be channelled will ensure that the network is being continually improved and the threat of collisions mitigated before they occur. The focus is set on areas where there have been collisions resulting in fatalities or serious injury having already occurred.

To assist with this approach, Aberdeenshire Council is the first council in Scotland to use an innovative method developed by the Road Safety Foundation to raise the standard of the world’s roads to a 3 out of 5 star or better standard for all road users and help focus our policy development and investment. This system is called iRAP (International Road Assessment Programme) and is a registered charity whose sole purpose is about saving lives and preventing serious injury.

Route improvement strategies

The Road Safety Unit helps to develop route improvement strategies to target investment where there has been higher than average collisions on a route. The A947 from Aberdeen to Banff has a higher than expected number of collisions resulting in people being killed or seriously injured. To address this trend, a Route Improvement Strategy has been developed for the A947. Find out more about A947 Route improvement strategy. This will be continually updated as the council works together to take measures to reduce the number of collisions on this route and make it safer to use by all types of roads users.

Pedestrians

We aim to get more people making active travel choices for short everyday journeys wherever possible, to both improve physical and mental health, as well as the environment.  

There has been little improvement in the numbers of pedestrian casualties over the last few years. Our records show that the majority are found to occur in built-up areas within 30mph limits and are because of failing to look properly, so please be vigilant.

Cyclists

We actively promote the national standard for cycle training through Bikeability, the cycle training programme. These activities aim to improve cyclists of all ages control and abilities. We also try and focus on making cycling fun and safe whilst having respect and consideration for others.

Find out more about our cycling initiatives.

Transport Scotland advises that traffic accounts for less than 1% of all traffic, it has seen an increase across Scotland of 30% since 2006. The council and Transport Scotland are committed to increasing opportunities for cycling both for everyday travel and for leisure. It is a healthy, reliable, flexible and cheap form of transport, with low carbon emissions and Aberdeenshire has many opportunities both on and off-road. However, in Aberdeenshire:

  • around 86% of cycling accidents occur in daylight
  • the most common reason for cyclist injuries is ‘failing to look properly’

View advice for cyclists:

Motorcyclists

Although the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads has fallen substantially over the last few decades, motorcyclists are still 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants per mile travelled.

Across Aberdeenshire our records over the last few years show that:

  • almost 50% of all accidents occur on 60mph roads
  • over 50% of all accidents involving a manoeuvre are at right hand turns
  • around 70% of all accidents involve motorcycles over 500cc
  • those most at risk are in the 41 to 55 age group with around 42% of all recorded casualties

View advice for motorcyclists:

For more information please contact Roadsafety@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

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