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Police target Scotland's scenic routes for speeding and careless driving

Police Scotland has announced an ‘unprecedented’ numbers of traffic officers will be deployed across the north of Scotland this summer amid concerns that tourist routes are being affected by careless and inexperienced drivers.

Since opening in 2015, the North Coast 500 (NC500) – a 516-mile circuit through the Highlands – has proved extremely popular in attracting a dangerous combination of both speeding vehicles and slow-moving caravans and cyclists. A website promoting the route recommends a minimum of five to seven days to complete. Despite this, it has been reported that some motorists have been attempting the entire circuit in under 24 hours.

Dangerous Driving Lawyers Edinburgh, Scotland

In two days, the police stopped more than 100 motorists on the NC500 this month, resulting in 70 drivers being warned and 39 receiving a fine or being reported to the procurator fiscal. Those travelling along ‘Scotland’s Route 66’ were detained for a range of offences; including speeding, dangerous and careless driving, not wearing a seatbelt and mobile phone use while driving.

There has also been concern that the route, which transitions from a single to two-lane highway at points, means some drivers forget to drive on the left-hand side. Road Safety Scotland confirmed that 65 road accidents last year were due to inexperience of driving on the left. For this reason, officers have been issuing wristbands out for tourists to wear as a reminder. The wristbands, which read ‘Drive on the Left’, have been made in nine different languages.

A Highland councillor, Kirsteen Currie, explained:

“It’s a beautiful place and there are lots of distractions... Handing out wristbands is one way to encourage people to keep left.”

There are a variety of long-distance driving tours across Scotland - including the Galloway Tourist Route and the Snow Roads in the Cairngorms - however, many locals have complained that visitors are stopping their vehicles at dangerous and narrow points of the road in order to take pictures of the scenic routes.

Chief Inspector, Stewart Mackie, said that an increase in visitors during the summer months heightens the risk of irresponsible driving:

“Our main priority is to keep our roads safe and we all have a part to play in that. Road safety operations are regularly carried out across the region in response to community concerns, which include high visibility patrols with enforcement action taken where necessary.”

Chief Superintendent, George MacDonald, has confirmed a ‘huge amount of energy’ is being put in by the force, with 1,300 hours of road policing activity dedicated in the last year.

Police have also stressed they are increasing patrols on the A82 and A9, with “almost 4,000 hours of patrol on the A82 and in excess of 4,300 on the A9”, according to roads policing inspector, Neil Lumsden. With one in three motorists breaking the speed limit on the A82 and A85, road safety authorities have also been installing new speed cameras on stretches of the major roads.

Contact our Road Traffic Experts Edinburgh, Scotland

Whether you have been charged with speeding, careless or dangerous driving, our professional road traffic defence lawyers can provide you with specialist legal advice and robust representation. Contact Thorley Stephenson SSC's motoring offence solicitors today by completing the online enquiry form.

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