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Road Accidents Scotland 2004


Annex A
Calendar of events affecting road traffic

1964-65: Road Traffic Act 1964 - Wider powers for speed limits. Trial 70 mph speed limit on motorway and other previously de-restricted roads. 50 mph speed limit on selected roads during summer.

1967: Seat belts compulsory on new cars - Permanent 70 mph speed limit on all roads. An offence to drink and attempt to drive with over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

1968-69: Transport Act 1968 allowed regulations on length of drivers' working hours - 3 year old vehicles need test certificate.

1970: New regulations on lorry and PSV drivers' hours of work.

1973-74: Safety helmets compulsory for 2-wheeled motor vehicle users - 50 mph national maximum speed limit, later motorway 70 mph, dual carriageway 60 mph - Vehicle lighting regulations.

1975: Temporary 50 and 60 mph limits extended.

1976: Licensing Scotland Act 1976 - extension of licensing hours until 11 pm - effective from 13 December 1976.

1977: 50 and 60 mph limits raised to 60 and 70 mph.

1977: Licensing Scotland Act 1976 - extension of Sunday opening - effective from October 1977.

1978: 60 and 70 mph limits permanent - New rules on maximum hours which may be worked by goods vehicle drivers.

1982: New 2-part motorcycle test from 29 March - Application of 2 year limit on provisional motorcycle licence took effect from 1 October.

1983: Transport Act 1981 introduced evidential breath testing and made seat belt wearing law for drivers and front seat passengers of most cars and light vans. Learner motor cyclists now only allowed to ride machines of up to 125 cc.

1984: Regulations introduced requiring spray reducing devices to be fitted to lorries and trailers.

1985: In December, Scottish Police Authorities introduced a policy of breath testing all drivers in an accident wherever possible.

1986: All new cars manufactured from 1 October to be fitted with rear seat belts. Seat belt legislation made permanent. European Road Safety Year.

1987: Legal requirement introduced requiring all newly registered cars to be fitted with rear seat belts or child restraints from 1 April. Government sets a target to achieve a one-third reduction in road accident casualties by the year 2000.

1988: All coaches first used from 1 April 1974 using a motorway must have 70 mph limiters fitted by 1 April 1991.

1989: Penalty points increased for careless driving, driving without insurance and failing to stop after or to report an accident. Seat belt wearing by rear child passengers became law in cars where appropriate restraints have been fitted and are available. Accompanied motorcycle testing became mandatory.

1990: Compulsory basic training for motorcyclists introduced and learner drivers banned from carrying pillion passengers. High Risk Offenders Scheme for problem drink-drivers extended. New regulations requiring those accompanying learner drivers to be at least 21 years old and to have held a licence for 3 years. Scottish Road Safety Year.

1991: Seat belt wearing by rear adult passengers became law in cars where belts are fitted and available. New road hump regulations introduced to reduce traffic speed.

1992: Subsequent to the Road Traffic Act 1991, new road traffic offences and penalties came into force, including retesting of dangerous drivers. The Traffic Calming Act 1992 came into force enabling roads authorities to introduce a wide range of traffic calming measures. Requirement for minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm introduced for cars and light vans. All new goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes fitted with 60 mph speed limiters.

1993: First speed enforcement cameras introduced in Scotland. The MOT test extended, including new checks on mirrors, windscreen condition, fuel tanks, seat and door security and number plates.

1994: First 20 mph zones introduced in Scotland. Traffic Calming (Scotland) Regulations came into force.

1995: Pass Plus scheme introduced for new drivers which encourages new drivers to take more lessons by offering discount on motor insurance.

1996: Driving theory test introduced from 1 July for car and motorcycle learners. Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1996 - requires newly qualified drivers to retake the driving test if they acquire 6 or more penalty points within 2 years of passing their test - effective from 1 June 1997. Requirement for coaches and minibuses to be fitted with seat belts when carrying children on organised trips, including journeys between home and school - effective from February, 1997. End of concession, where seat belts are fitted, whereby 3 children could share a double seat.

1997: New Zebra, Pelican and Puffin crossing regulations introduced, with Puffin crossings prescribed for the first time.

1998: New Road Humps regulations came into force giving local authorities wider powers to establish road humps.

1999: Amendment to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 gave local authorities power to introduce traffic calmed 20 mph zones and 20 mph speed limits, with or without traffic calming measures, at suitable locations. Revised Highway Code published.

2000: The Government announced a new road safety strategy and casualty reduction targets for the period to 2010 in "To morrow's Roads - Safer for Everyone". A review of speed policy was conducted and reported in ' New Directions in Speed Management'.

2001: Amendment to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 made it clear that school crossing patrols can stop traffic for children of all ages and adults and gave local authorities greater flexibility in the times that school crossing patrols can operate. Scottish Executive awarded nearly £15 million to local authorities for cycling, walking and safer streets projects, including safer routes to school schemes.

2002: New Home Zones (Scotland) Regulations came into force. These set out the procedures local authorities must follow when designating home zones.

2003: Revised guidance on school transport issued to local authorities. Scottish School Travel Advisory Group report published. Scottish Executive provided the funding to implement the report's key recommendation to create school travel co-ordinator posts within each Scottish local authority.

2004: Publication of the first three year review of the GB road safety strategy and casualty reduction targets, set out in " Tomorrow's Roads - Safer for Everyone".