Drivers Urged to Slow Down Near Schools

The Highland Council and Police Scotland are urging drivers to slow down near schools as term starts next week across Highland and pupils return to schools from 12th August onward.

Highland Council is warning parents and pupils that part time flashing 20mph signs around Highland Schools will not be operating as normal – due to a technical error caused by inactivity of the signs over the long period of lockdown.

The Council urges all motorists to drive within 20mph near schools for pupil safety regardless of whether signs are flashing or not.

Road policing officers are also urging drivers to slow down near schools next week after pupils return from their summer holidays.

It has been documented that about 5% of pedestrians would die when struck by a vehicle travelling at 20mph increasing to about 40% for vehicles travelling at 30mph, about 80% for vehicles travelling at 40 mph and close to 100% for speeds over 50 mph.

Many schools in the Highlands have 20mph limits during school hours and drivers are advised to be aware of the local limits.

Sergeant Chris Murray said:

“It is well documented that driving at inappropriate speeds reduces your ability to react to unexpected changes on the road and is a significant factor in serious injury and fatal crashes.

“Near schools this means that a speeding driver is putting the lives of children at risk and this is not a risk worth taking.

“We all have a duty to keep our roads safe and motorists should be aware that speeding is not minor or risk free, it is a serious, dangerous and antisocial activity.

“We will continue to carry out proactive patrols near schools to educate those who put others at risk by driving at inappropriate speeds and will take enforcement action where necessary.”

Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of Highland Council’s Education Committee said:

“While it is unfortunate that the part time 20mph signs around our schools are not working – this is no excuse for speeding.

“Highland Council is fully supportive of Police Scotland’s actions to enforce speed restrictions that are in place around our schools to protect our children.

“Highland Council has for many years actively supported the introduction of enforcement of 20mph around schools.

“Between 2005 and 2009 the authority introduced full and part time 20mph limits at over 200 schools across the region.

“Motorists are reminded that if they speed in the vicinity of Highland schools then the penalties will be tough.

“The Highland Council and Police Scotland are clear that if motorists are caught speeding near Highland schools then robust enforcement action will take place.”