South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway fatal crash increase sparks safety warning

Police accident sign and vehicle

An increase in fatal crashes in Dumfries and Galloway has prompted a plea to motorists to avoid any unnecessary distractions while driving.

There have been 10 accidents resulting in the loss of life on the region's roads since 1 April last year.

It compares with seven in the same period in 2014/15. The number of serious injury crashes has fallen.

Police have urged drivers to maintain their concentration at all times when behind the wheel.

Insp Neil Hewitson said: "In the past month we have had three fatal crashes - that is really quite unusual.

"They are still subject to investigation but they have not been crashes that have been caused by the weather."

'Big positive'

He said that in-car distractions such as mobile phones or changing music could have been a factor.

"Driving is not an automatic reaction that you do without thought," he said.

"It has to be thought about and concentrated on - you have to use so many skills to drive and drive safely."

Although fatal crash numbers have risen, the number of people killed or seriously injured has fallen from 81 in 2014/15 to 60 in 2015/16.

"That's a big positive for us," said Insp Hewitson. "The difference between a serious crash and a fatal crash is often very, very small.

"In some cases it can be down to, dare I say it, bad luck.

"If we can reduce the number of serious crashes then it should follow on that we reduce the number of fatal crashes too."

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