Scotland’s Road Safety Framework Purpose

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework Purpose

Road safety is an issue that affects everyone in Scotland. We all need to use the roads to get around – to school, to work, to the doctor, to the shops, to the cinema. Most of us use the roads every day, as drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians, and for many people driving is the main part of their job. It is essential, therefore, to ensure that, as far as possible, we can all use the roads in safety.

The Scottish Government and road safety partners are committed to the outcome of safer road travel in Scotland for everyone. To this end the Scottish Government has produced a Framework for improving road safety in Scotland over the next decade. It describes the road safety vision for Scotland, aims and commitments, and the Scottish targets for reductions in road deaths and serious injuries to 2020.

Where we are now

There is no doubt that excellent progress has been made towards achieving current road casualty reduction targets for 2010, set jointly with the UK Government and the Welsh Assembly. Figures for Scotland in 2007 show that the number of people killed or seriously injured was 45% below the level of the mid 1990s, the number of children killed or seriously injured was 67% below and the slight casualty rate had declined by 35%.

However, every death and every serious injury on the roads is one too many. We need to maintain the huge effort made by many people in Scotland towards making our roads safer. Indeed, we need to take stock and see what more we can do.

Partnership in this area is crucial. The Scottish Government and CoSLA are delighted to have strong support from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, Road Safety Scotland and others. As the major organisations in Scotland promoting road safety, we must all work together in taking this Framework forward and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities to ‘Go Safe on Scotland’s Roads’.


Scotland’s road safety vision is that there will be:

A steady reduction in the numbers of those killed and those seriously injured, with the ultimate vision of a future where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads, and the injury rate is much reduced.

The Scottish Government believes that this is an ambitious vision and one capable of being shared by all. It is not a vision for a single point in time, but is on-going and aspirational. Success in the timescale of the Framework can be measured through progress towards Scottish road safety targets. We believe that all partners and every road user has a contribution to make towards the vision. For this reason the title of the Framework is ‘Go Safe on Scotland’s Roads – it’s Everyone’s Responsibility’.

Scottish Road Safety Targets

Scottish road safety targets from 2010 to 2020 are
Target 2015 Milestone % reduction 2020 target % reduction
People killed 30% 40%
People seriously injured 43% 55%
Children (aged <16) killed 35% 50%
Children (aged <16) seriously injured 50% 65%

In addition we will continue the previous 10% reduction target in the slight casualty rate to 2020.

We have concentrated on four Scottish targets which are aimed at reducing deaths and serious injury. We have separated deaths from serious injury as, in recent years, trends have been different for these with serious injuries falling steadily but deaths failing to achieve the same rate of decline.

The Scottish Government is asking partners to contribute to the overall achievement of the Scottish targets.


Scotland’s road safety priorities are not ordered or ranked to allow flexibility for local circumstances and to allow for changing trends and advances in technology. However, there are specific topics on which we do want to focus:

  • Leadership
  • Sharing intelligence and good practice
  • Children
  • Drivers aged 17-25
  • Rural Roads
  • Drink Drive
  • Seatbelts
  • Speed

These are the priorities which partners consistently tell us are important and need to be addressed and are those which we believe most need to be tackled in order to achieve the targets and make headway towards our vision.

Commitments to Address Priorities

There are a series of commitments in the Framework which can be grouped under the traditional road safety 3 Es (Education, Enforcement and Engineering), plus Encouragement and all action is underpinned by Evaluation. Importantly, the commitments are brought together under a number of strategic aims that we believe capture the main prerequisites to improving road safety in Scotland in the future. These themes are outlined as follows with a selection of commitments from the Framework which we will deliver in partnership with other stakeholders.

Helping to Join Up the strands of road safety across the various delivery partners, so as to work more effectively

  • Investigate the establishment of a strategic Scottish group which is representative of the major road safety disciplines and key delivery partners.
  • Introduce a Scottish Road Safety Week, after consultation with partners.
  • Produce an annual public update on the delivery of the Framework.
  • Consider, with partners, local pilots of initiatives for evaluation and promulgation of results across Scotland.
  • Reinforcing, at every opportunity, the message of the Responsibility of all road users for their own and other’s safety on the roads
  • Commission new research to investigate the links between road safety and disadvantaged children and those in ethnic minority groups and implement agreed action.
  • Investigate, report and implement ways to help ensure schoolchildren’s safety when getting on and off school buses.
  • Investigate whether alcohol is playing a greater part in pedestrian casualties and, if it is, consider what we can do to reverse the trend.
  • Develop a website which provides a link to all sites providing information on a range of issues, including safety, of interest to motorcyclists.
  • Develop a Cycling Action Plan for Scotland to achieve the overarching outcome of ‘more people cycling more often’. One action will be to increase the numbers of children receiving cycle training and therefore promoting road safety.

Encouraging a Drive for Life culture

  • Seek to influence young people’s attitudes to road safety and future driving behaviour before they get behind the wheel.
  • Conduct a public debate on young driver issues including graduated licences and additional training.
  • Encourage and support the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Scotland) with the formation of the Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance in order to raise employers’ awareness of the need to have a policy on the Managing of Occupational Road Risk.
  • Investigate ways to promote and facilitate initiatives, relating to further training for older drivers including consideration of incentivisation to do this.
  • Continue to meet the demand for the migrant workers booklet, exploring the need for production in other languages. We will also consult with the United Kingdom Border Agency, to ascertain the most effective way to disseminate the information as widely as possible.

Reducing the tolerance of Risk on the roads

  • Encourage any proposal by the Driving Standards Agency to include specific pre-test training on rural roads in a variety of conditions.
  • Continue to press the UK Government for a reduction in the drink drive limit and for powers for the police to carry out breath testing anytime, anywhere.
  • Press the case with the UK Government to make non-seatbelt wearing an endorsable offence. (i.e. one which attracts licence penalty points in addition to the current fine).
  • Increase awareness of the benefits of lower speed driving in relation
    to fuel efficiency, health impacts and road safety.

Upholding the Rights of all road users to expect safe road travel.

  • Undertake Road Protection Score Surveys, for the remaining two-thirds of Scotland’s trunk road network and determine how this information can complement the existing processes within the road safety engineering programme.
  • Develop Route Safety Groups for each of the trunk road routes with participation from relevant road safety partners such as local authorities, police forces, emergency services, safety camera partnerships, etc.
  • Produce a best practice guide with SCOTS for carrying out safety audits by reviewing current local authority procedures.
  • Signpost information for car buyers to help them to make informed safer and greener choices.

In the short term, we will work towards the achievement of the targets through the implementation of a series of proven measures. In the mid to long term we want to explore new ways of working together, to join up the different functions of road safety to strengthen the impact of initiatives. We want to consider doing things which have been proven to work elsewhere, either in other parts of the United Kingdom or abroad. We are also keen to lead the way through piloting new road safety ideas and technologies in Scotland.

Further Information

A full copy of the Framework can be accessed via the publications page of:

Any further queries relating to the Road Safety Framework should be directed to:

Transport Scotland
Road Safety Team
Area 2F North
Victoria Quay

Telephone 0141 272 7100