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Pedestrian, cyclists and motorcyclists are being encouraged to take extra care on the roads, as Police Scotland launches a week-long national vulnerable road users campaign today.

Chief Inspector Mark Patterson, said: “As we are now officially in Spring, and the weather hopefully takes a turn for the better, we can expect to see an increase in the number of people venturing out on foot, horseback and pedal cycles to enjoy it.”

The initiative runs alongside the British Horse Society’s ‘Dead or Dead Slow’ campaign designed to educate drivers and influence their behaviour on how to pass horses safely.

Helene Mauchlen, Scottish Manager of the charity, said: “There are 80,000 horses in Scotland and 250,000 people regularly ride, so horseriders represent a significant group of vulnerable road users.”

Mark Patterson added: “All road users, particularly those in the vulnerable category, are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety and to share our road space respectfully and responsibly too. The increased use of new technologies, mainly smart phones, has increased the risks of road traffic distraction, for both drivers and pedestrians. Pedestrians who walk when they are distracted by mobile phones are commonly referred to as Smombies (smart phone zombies) are at particular risk, and I am appealing to them to be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Vulnerable Road Users account for 29% of all those killed on Scotland’s Roads and Police Scotland remain committed to making Scotland’s Roads Safer.

“During this week-long campaign, all Police Scotland officers will be out engaging with the public to both educate and, where necessary, enforce, to positively influence attitudes and road user behaviour.

“You can find out more about what we are up to on Facebook and Twitter using the hash tag #GoSafeRoadSafe. If you wish to know more about road safety then please visit www.roadsafety.scot and www.cyclingscotland.org which are excellent sources of information and resource.”

www.blackwells.co.uk