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Highland motorists reminded of importance of speed limits

By Gregor White

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Police are mounting their first campaign of the year, concentrating on speeding traffic.
Police are mounting their first campaign of the year, concentrating on speeding traffic.

Police Scotland’s first national campaign of the year is about to commence with the focus on speed limits.

During the week long campaign, starting on Monday, road policing and safety camera enforcement officers will be monitoring motorist’s speeds across the region in a bid to make roads safer for all road users.

Police say that during the last year there have been a number of serious and fatal collisions within the Highlands where speed has been a factor.

Inspector Donnie Mackinnon of the Highland and Islands road policing unit said: “All too often, we attend and investigate road traffic collisions and witness first-hand the devastation caused by speeding and risk taking.

"We are committed to robustly enforcing road traffic legislation across the Highland and Islands area with the intention of positively influencing driver behaviour.

"Road users convicted of speeding will incur fines and accumulate penalty points which can adversely affect employment status and personal circumstances so please think very carefully about your actions and ensure that you use the road safely and responsibly.”

Eric Dunion, Police Scotland’s north safety camera unit manager said: “You may be driving the same Highland routes daily on your commute to work, occasionally to visit a friend or attraction or this may be your first time driving in the area during your holidays; whatever your experience we are keen for all those travelling to have an enjoyable and safe experience.

"We have several enforcement locations across the region with a history of speeding and speed related collisions, all those locations can be viewed on our website www.safetycameras.gov.scot

"Please think about your speeds whilst driving, keep within the speed limits and remember to amend your speed to the changing and challenging road and weather conditions."

Tips for navigating travel within the region include:

  • Many roads in the Highlands area are classified as rural roads so prepare for the unexpected, as you never know what could be round the corner.
  • Drive at a speed that doesn’t affect your decision-making ability – this could be well below the speed limit.
  • Look out for blind summits and hidden dips. Keep an eye on road signs and slow down as you approach.
  • Single-track roads – these are only wide enough for one vehicle and you will see signs for ‘passing places’. If you observe a vehicle travelling towards you – or the driver behind wants to overtake – pull into a passing place on your left or wait opposite a passing place on your right. Do not park in passing places.
  • Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can. If necessary, reverse until you reach a passing place to let the other vehicle pass.
  • Be prepared for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists, or farm livestock or wild animals moving from one side of the road to the other. Allow yourself enough time and space to move either into a passing place or off the road.
  • Always reduce your speed on the approach to built-up areas.
  • Fasten your seat belt – it could make a crucial difference to you and your passengers in the event of a crash.
  • Prepare for the unexpected – you might know the road like the back of your hand, but conditions and other traffic are always changing.
  • Put away any distractions. Ignore your phone and do not attempt to set your Sat-Nav while driving.

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