Public campaign to raise awareness of safety issues on the A947

A947Oldmeldrum and Mid Formartine Councillor Paul Johnston welcomed the launch of a new campaign for safety on the A947 at two meetings in Oldmeldrum and Turriff shortly.

Aberdeenshire Council and road safety partners are launching a A public awareness campaign to encourage motorists to drive safely on the A947 road between Dyce and Banff. Leaflets offering safety tips for motorists using the rural route are being sent out to all major public buildings along the A947 including schools, libraries and council buildings in the coming weeks.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Road Safety Engineering Unit (RSEU) has teamed up with Police Scotland and the North East Safety Camera Partnership (NESCAMP) to offer a series of public presentations this autumn, to reinforce the safety message and raise awareness of the issues on this demanding road and ensure motorists keep up-to-date with ongoing changes and improvements.

Presentations will be held at Meldrum Academy on Tuesday 19 November and Turriff Academy on Tuesday 26 November, both at 7pm for 7.30pm.

An in-depth study of the rural sections of the 38-mile route was carried out in 2010 after it was found that fatal accidents within sections of this route were 50% higher than the national average, while the number of accidents linked to bends on the A947 was found to be 250% higher than the national average.

Between 2008 and 2012, there have been 8 fatalities, 31 serious injuries and 88 slight injuries as a result of collisions on these rural sections of the A947. This latest safety campaign forms part of an ongoing programme to improve road safety on the A947.

Over the past year a series of bend improvement measures have been carried out, including changes to bend warning signs and installation of hazard marker posts. The refurbishment of edge lines on bends is also receiving attention, all of which will provide drivers with a more consistent approach on these more demanding sections of the route. Signage has also been improved in order to provide more consistent road safety and effective speed control messages at regular intervals along the road.

The new leaflet produced by the RSEU provides safety tips for using the road, as well as information on the progress of work to date and plans for the future. The leaflet will provide motorists with the information they need to drive responsibly and safely on the A947 road. Alongside this work, there will be a continuation of maintenance work that will address issues such as drainage and verge treatments.

The next stage of the road safety project will include the use of vehicle counters to evaluate driver behaviour by measuring the speed of each vehicle and also the distance between them. This will be used to assist police and NESCAMP operations by targeting the times of day and week when the most inappropriate driver behaviour is detected.

Work carried out previously includes increasing the number of sites for the NESCAMP mobile speed camera to use on the A947 and these sites continue to be used by mobile speed camera vans on a regular and random basis.

Councillor Paul Johnston, who has campaigned for improved safety on the A947 over many years said:

“I welcome the move to provide the advice and all the specific focused improvements to the road.  All of these contribute to increasing the driver awareness or decreasing accident risk.  That is something that Aberdeenshire and the Community Safety Partnership can be proud of.”

” I still believe however, that while mobile speed cameras are required, that we should trial the use of some road sections with ASCs or Average Speed Cameras. This can be a very valuable tool as part of the toolbox in changing driver behaviour and improving safety.  Given that every life lost is so precious, the cost of not doing so seems immense”

A NESCAMP spokesman said: “NESCAMP, in conjunction with partnership agencies, will continue to support the project by having a highly visible presence on the A947 with a view to not only enforcing the speed limit, but also educating the public to reduce their speed.”

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