Island prosecutions are on the up since lockdown restrictions eased
There are growing concerns about the behaviour of drivers in the Western Isles since Covid-19 lockdown measures began to be eased.
During lockdown traffic levels significantly reduced on island roads, together with related prosecutions, a report before Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee confirmed last week, but the report also noted ‘concerning trends’ with significant increases in the number of motorists caught driving without a license, without insurance and those reported for careless driving.
The report also stated that incidents of drink driving, speeding and anti-social behaviour were also on the rise.
Driving without insurance has seen the biggest increase with a rise of 79 per-cent, followed by driving without a licence with an increase of 65 per-cent, and careless driving up by 37 per-cent, the report confirms.
Other areas highlighted as being of concern in the Comhairle’s report were the use of mobile phones and health and age-related collisions.
Chief Inspector Ian Graham, Western Isles area commander, said that road safety was a priority for Police Scotland in the Western Isles and that close-working partnerships with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, among other local organisations and agencies, was helping to tackle the problem.
The Chief Inspector also confirmed that officers from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit recently undertook work in Uist and on Lewis and Harris.
CI Ian Graham said: “Since the easing of lock-down in the islands and an increase in traffic we have provided an increased presence on our roads as part of this approach to improving safety.
“As a result of this proactive work by officers and through working with the community and local elected members to highlight and report concerns we have noted the increase in detections for road traffic offences.
“Our work is in part aimed at educating people and improving driver behaviour but we also enforce the law and will not tolerate any offending on our roads. Driving under the influence of drink or drugs, or driving with excessive speed is unacceptable and puts all road users at risk.
“We will continue to work with our partners and communities throughout the islands to improve road safety.”