Road safety drive for young Scots
Young people across Scotland are being targeted in a new road safety drive which seeks to capitalise on the popularity of social media sites such as Bebo and Facebook to save lives.
The 'Your Call' initiative, which has been developed by Road Safety Scotland, was launched today by Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson and former Scottish rugby internationalist Gavin Hastings.
The new DVD resource for schools uses social networking imagery to engage pupils and shows the harrowing effect road accidents can have on young lives.
Today's announcement is the latest initiative to use cutting edge technology to broadcast road safety messages, and follows on from successful Scottish Government initiatives using the Xbox and mobile phones.
Speaking during a visit to Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, Mr Stevenson said:
"While road accidents are at their lowest for 50 years, too many young people are still dying on our roads.
"As a Government we are constantly looking at ways to target this group and I am determined that we look beyond the traditional and towards the innovative in our efforts to save lives.
"This is a great new campaign which uses the popularity of sites like Bebo and Facebook to help us engage with young people. I am confident it will be a real success.
"Our research suggests that young people are more responsive to road safety messages which utilise the latest in technology and we have already used the X-box and mobile phone technology to transmit our messages.
"Most 11-14 year olds are familiar with social networking sites like Bebo and this new approach will help further reach this important group.
"As we move towards the publication of our new 10 year road safety strategy for Scotland we will continue to look at what more we can all do to improve road safety across the country."
The latest road accident figures for Scotland were published on March 23, 2009. 'Road Casualties Scotland 2007' showed that 281 people died on the roads in 2007 (11 percent less than 2006) and 2,382 were seriously injured (9 percent less than 2006).
The Scottish Government is looking at innovative ways of improving road safety. A new initiative involving XBOX games in Scotland involved beaming anti-drink drive messages directly into the game.
This was then followed by a new campaign which utilised mobile phone technology to transmit safe driver messages.
The Transport Minister has brought together an expert group on road safety from across Scotland. It is made up of some of the leading thinkers in road safety from across the country, including the police, road safety experts, a driver behaviour psychologist, and others. The group's remit is to give their views on how to improve road safety in Scotland. Their views will help inform a new 10-year road safety strategy for Scotland which will be published shortly.
Road Safety Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and its remit is to develop and co-ordinate Scotland-wide road safety initiatives and campaigns. Road Safety Scotland works closely with all local authority and police Road Safety Units in an attempt to ensure a co-ordinated approach to road safety in Scotland.