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Road Accidents Scotland




The Scottish Executive Social Research publishes a series of reports and research summaries based on road safety research which has been commissioned by the Department. Those published since the start of 2002 are described briefly below. The Reports may be purchased from The Stationery Office Bookshop - contact details appear towards the foot of the page on Scottish Executive Transport Statistics publications.

For each research project described or listed below (with the exception of "Review of the Scottish Office Road Safety Research Programme 1989-97") copies of the Research Findings (a short paper which sets out the main findings), can be obtained, free on request, from:

The Scottish Executive
Social Research
Area 2J
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Tel: 0131-244 7560

Information about the reports published between January 1989 and August 1997 is given in:

  • " Review of The Scottish Office Road Safety Research Programme 1989-97": 1997 Price 2.50

The following reports were published between 2000 and the end of 2001:

  • "Road Accidents and Children Living in Disadvantaged Areas" 2000 Price 5.00
  • "Road Safety Education in the Scottish Curriculum" 2000 Price 5.00
  • "The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Road Safety Education" 2000 Price 5.00
  • "Evaluation of Scottish Road Safety Campaign Travel Packs" 2000 Price 5.00
  • "Pedestrian Perceptions of Road Crossing Facilities" 2000 Price 5.00
  • "20mph Speed Reduction Initiative" 2001 Price 10.00
  • "Recreational Drugs and Driving" 2001Price 5.00
  • "Sharing Road Space: Drivers and Cyclists as Equal Road Users" 2001 Price 5.00
  • "Tourist Road Accidents in Rural Scotland" 2001 Price 5.00
  • "The New Driver Project" 2001 Price 5.00

"Road Accidents Scotland 2000" includes a brief description of some of these reports.

Research Reports published since the start of 2002:

"Child Accidents en Route to School"
The aim of this research was to determine the extent to which the journey to school is a factor affecting the child pedestrian casualty rate in Scotland. Police accident records (STATS 19) for the years 1999 and 2000 were examined along with the plain language descriptions. The research found that out of 1,231 child pedestrian casualties injured during school travel hours, 150 of the accidents involved either a bus as a hitting vehicle or as a vehicle present at the location of the accident. In these accidents, 4 children were killed, 35 seriously injured and 111 were slightly injured. Children in the 11-14 year old age group accounted for almost two-thirds of accidents where a bus was involved, and the data shows that boys in particular are most vulnerable. Most accidents occurred in the afternoon and involved pedestrian movement shortly after alighting from a bus suggesting that these accidents happen at the non-school end (home or otherwise) of a trip from school. Evidence from the Scottish Household Survey suggests that the number of children who travel home by bus is unlikely to be very different from the number who travel by bus to school, therefore implying that the homeward trip is a more dangerous one. The report concludes that there is some support for anecdotal evidence put forward to suggest that a significant proportion of child pedestrian casualties may occur just before or just after a child has boarded or alighted from a bus. However, the number is relatively small, ranging from 2% of all pedestrian casualties for the 5-11 age group to 4% for 12-15 year olds. Nevertheless, although this is a small group in proportional terms, four children were killed and thirty five seriously injured.
2002 Price 5.00

"Survey of Cycling on Scotland"
The aim of this research was to collect up-to-date information on the extent of cycling in Scotland to compare with an earlier survey of cycling conducted in 1997. The objective was to establish whether there has been a change in cycling use and attitudes to cycling following the implementation of cycling infrastructure in many urban and rural areas. Based on a household survey a representative sample of over 2000 adults were interviewed. The survey found that since 1997 there has been no significant change in the proportion of households where at least one person owns a bicycle and that the proportion of cyclists aged over 18 years has increased, and in particular the proportion aged 25-44 years. Compared to 1997 it would appear that there has been a slight decrease in the frequency of cycling amongst adults, but there has been an increase in the proportion of shorter bicycle trips in terms of time and distance. The number of cyclists who mentioned 'keep fit/healthy' as the main reason for using a bike increased significantly and the results indicated a significant increase in the use of cycle helmets, which is an encouraging trend. The survey concluded that the majority of adult cyclists felt that the provision of dedicated cycle lanes, off-road tracks and safe cycle routes to school would be likely to encourage people to cycle or cycle more regularly.
2002 Price 5.00

"Management of Work Related Road Safety"
Little is known about the management of work related road safety. The Scottish Executive and the Health and Safety Executive jointly commissioned a survey to establish the extent of work-related road safety practices and policies and the extent to which road safety is considered a health and safety issue in organisations in Scotland. This qualitative study was based on a telephone survey of 1006 organisations in Scotland of varying size and sectors and visiting a number of organisations with effective occupational road safety policies and procedures in Scotland. The full literature review report, 'The contribution of individual factors to driving behaviour: implications for managing work-related road safety', has been published separately by HSE ( www.hse.gov.uk). Of the work-related road accidents during the last three years the majority of organisations experienced a maximum of 10 accidents with 3% claiming 50 or more accidents. The survey found that the majority of accidents occurred during travel by peripatetic staff and delivery and collection of goods. Cars were also found to be the most common vehicle involved in accidents followed by light goods vehicles. Approximately two thirds of the Scottish workplaces surveyed claimed to have a policy relating to safe driving procedures and the survey results indicated that the most common procedure adopted was driver training, followed by a written policy statement and then driver assessments. The findings highlighted that the main benefit was meeting a moral duty to employees and the public and a third of the organisations indicated that accident prevention policies produced effective results. A disadvantage, viewed by a minority, was that such policies were time-consuming. The study concluded that the findings have significant implications for how organisations implement an occupational road safety policy and associated procedures. Drawing on these findings, a model of good practice road safety risk management was presented to assist in motivating employers and providing guidance on action required.
2002 (Free)

"Road Safety and Social Inclusion"
The aim of this research was to establish the extent of road safety initiatives in deprived areas and to develop a good practice guide. The study involved a survey of 34 social inclusion partnerships in Scotland from which 10 case studies were investigated. The study found that although there is a significant amount of activity within Scotland's most disadvantaged communities based on national programmes there is significant potential for developing more community based approaches. The research suggested stronger linkages be made with community safety and community regeneration to integrate road safety with wider area regeneration strategies. Road safety is a major concern and working with socially excluded groups and young people in deprived areas is more challenging and resource intensive than in less stressed areas. The survey found that there were variable approaches to partnership working, however, there were many examples of very good practice with local communities. The research suggests that involvement of Road Safety Officers in partnership with the Scottish Road Safety Campaign could develop links with local agencies to explore ways in which road safety can be more firmly integrated into the community regeneration process. The study concluded that to redress inequalities in involvement in road related incidents a number of measures need to be taken and the main output of the study has been the production of a good practice guide - A Safe Place to Live.
2002 Price 5.00

"Why Parents Drive their Children to School"
The main aim of the research was to explore reasons why parents choose to drive their children to school and the relative importance of contributory factors. The research comprised two stages: the first reviewed information on parental choice and decision-making on the school journey and risk evidence to children on different forms of transport and personal safety; the final stage involved group discussions with parents who drive their children to school and secondary school children. Emphasis was placed on those driving a short distance only and/or have the option of using public transport, walking or cycling. The research found that parents actively choose to drive their children to school because they perceive the journey by car to offer a number of benefits including safety and convenience. Reasons given often occur in multiples and there is no single trigger that is likely to be powerful enough to work against all of these. The study provided an assessment of alternatives to driving which highlighted that walking could be more widely used and that travel by school bus or public transport bus afford opportunities for building independence, social contact and offer safety. The results of the research indicated that physical changes in and around school would be helpful in creating the correct environment for other modes of transport to be used. Overall the research suggests that it will be a long process to achieve, to any great extent, a reduction in actual number of journeys undertaken by car and initially to adopt a 'minimising policy' to reduce the distance or frequency of driving.
2002 Price 5.00