Encouraging first year for road safety campaign

Road accidents down since launch of  'Operation Cedar'
Road accidents down since launch of ‘Operation Cedar’

MORAY’S ROADS ARE safer according to a new report published by police at the end of the first full year of ‘Operation Cedar’.

The road safety crackdown designed to ‘challenge, educate, detect and reduce’ was launched in May last year. During the campaign police officers have stepped up patrols on six Aberdeenshire and Moray roads that had caused the greatest concern for their communities.

As a result of the campaign enforcement action was taken against over 21,000 motorists between April 2014 and March 2015 for a variety of offences including driving without a seatbelt, using a mobile phone, driving a defective vehicle and speeding.

Most-targeted road has been the A96 between Elgin and Aberdeen which accounted for 2889 cases, while the A98 between Fraserburgh and Fochabers accounted for 1206.

Police say that Operation Cedar continues – with particular attention in Moray being paid to the A941 between Elgin and Rothes.

Supt George Macdonald said: “The reason we are targeting these roads is based on our collision statistics and feedback from elected members and local community concerns.

“These are continued concerns – my officers will be targeting those areas throughout the coming year and I make no excuse should any driver find themselves on the receiving end of a fixed penalty notice and points on their license if caught.

“I would rather that than the officers breaking the news of another tragedy to another family.”

Police say that Lossiemouth and Fochabers have also been subjected to additional attention.

Operation Cedar figures show that by April 30 this year there had been six fatalities on Aberdeenshire and Moray roads – there were 27 recorded in the previous year. In addition the number of serious accidents had fallen to 52 in the last year compared to 226 in the previous recording period.

Supt Macdonald said: “We are not complacent about any group as statistics can change very quickly – we never forget that behind these numbers are families’ loved ones and colleagues who will struggle for the rest of their lives to come to terms with their loss and tragedy.”