A mum whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in a crash involving a speeding driver is backing a campaign urging people not to speed, warning “it really does tear families apart”.
The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland campaign is stressing that there is no excuse for speeding, “even if it’s just a little bit”.
Authorities said speeding is one of the riskiest driving behaviours, with travelling too fast for the conditions or excessive speed reported in 21% of fatal collisions, and in 10% of all reported accidents in 2020.
Beth Gilbert’s daughter Jane, from Lanark, was killed in a crash on the B7078 in South Lanarkshire in 2013.
She describes the emotional impact of the crash in a film which forms part of the campaign, saying: “She went away one night and never came back. Her driver was actually speeding into figures of three numbers which resulted in him going across and hitting a barrier and both of them were killed instantly. She was only 16.
“Your life just totally changes. because Jane was my one and only one child, she was my only family.
“The last thing she said to me when she went out the door is “mum you’re the best”, so I take great comfort in that every day.
“You never ever dream of thinking that you’re going to lose your child, you always think that you’re going to go before them.
“She had a bright future, she was so clever and I was so proud of her, so please watch your speed no matter where, when, just watch your speed because it does kill and it really does tear families apart.”
A third (33%) of people admitted exceeding the speed limit by 5mph in 30mph zones at least once in the past year while 8% admitted driving at least once in the past year at 90mph on the motorway, according to research published last August.
Police Scotland said many drivers try and justify their speeding behaviour when they are caught, with excuses including running out of petrol, the road being quiet, trying to beat the rush hour, knowing the road well, and other traffic also being perceived as exceeding the speed limit.
Chief superintendent Louise Blakelock, head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “All too often police officers experience first-hand the tragic consequences of excessive speed on our roads.
“The dangers of speeding are well-known and the consequences can be devastating, life-changing and long-lasting.
“Excessive or inappropriate speed can cause serious harm to others, especially more vulnerable road users, and it’s a risk not worth taking.
“If you’re caught speeding you will be fined, have your licence endorsed and could even lose your licence.”
The new Scotland-wide campaign will run across multiple platforms including radio and digital.
It highlights some of the excuses commonly used by drivers to justify their speeding, while reminding those behind the wheel that, if they are caught, they could face severe penalties.
Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: “Speeding remains a factor in a number of fatal and serious collisions every year. That’s why I welcome this campaign to tackle this serious issue and deliver a clear message to drivers.
“A collision involving speed can have far-reaching consequences, not only affecting the driver but also their family, the victim’s family, emergency services, and people who witness the incident.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re only slightly over the speed limit – however you try and justify it, there is no excuse for speeding.”
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