Three in five people living in Scotland want police to introduce an online video reporting system to help catch dangerous drivers, according to a poll commissioned by Cycling UK, which highlights that Police Scotland is one of just five forces across the UK that has not yet implemented such a system.
The national cycling charity, along with the AA, RAC and 30 other organisations, wrote to Police Scotland in March this year calling for police to introduce a facility that would enable members of the public to upload footage of poor driving, as 40 police forces nationwide have already done.
Now, a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Cycling UK has found that 59 per cent of Scottish adults back the Scottish Government – which has announced a Vision Zero target for road deaths and serious injuries by 2050 – working with Police Scotland to roll out such a scheme, which the charity says saves between eight and 12 hours of police time on each case.
Some 17 per cent of respondents said they opposed the idea, while an identical percentage were neutral on the issue and the remaining 8 per cent said they did not know, according to the poll which was conducted online among 1,204 adults aged 16+ between 16-20 April, with the results weighted to be representative nationally. The question posed in the survey was:
To what extent would you support or oppose the Scottish government working with the police in Scotland to set-up an online system that allows the public to upload footage of dangerous driving on Scottish roads?
Some 24 per cent of survey participants said that they strongly supported the proposal, with 35 per cent saying they somewhat supported it. By contrast, 10 per cent said they were somewhat opposed, and just 7 per cent that they were strongly opposed to the idea.
Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager for Scotland, said: “The Scottish public want to see this life-saving measure brought in.
“The evidence shows it will save police time and hold dangerous drivers to account. The decision is a no brainer and we hope the government will work with Police Scotland to make our roads safer as soon as possible.
“Introducing this new system would be a signal of intent from both the government and Police Scotland on making good on the Vision Zero target,” he added.
“Road crime is real crime – the submission of video evidence will help ensure it is dealt with appropriately, while also freeing up valuable police time to deal with other serious crimes.”
AA president, Edmund King, commented: “There is now evidence that the majority of road-users, including drivers, and a major coalition of road and safety groups support a camera footage reporting system to make the roads safer in Scotland.
“AA members have been supportive of our ‘ThinkBikes!’ sticker campaign for some years and this initiative, targeted at dangerous drivers and riders, can further improve road safety for all.”
Police Scotland regularly carry out operations targeting drivers who overtake cyclists too closely, with the latest happening just yesterday in the Leith area of Edinburgh and resulting in six motorists being stopped and spoken to after making close passes on a plain clothes police officer on a bike and given advice on how to overtake safely in future.
Thanks to #SpecialConstable Murray, who assisted #LeithCommunityCops in #Edinburgh today with #OpClosePass -some great results! SC Murray has recently been trained on our police bikes along with 3 others from the team who will soon be out & about #KeepingPeopleSafe!🚲👮♀️😀 pic.twitter.com/NiHjSIEGs8
— Police Scotland Volunteers (@PolScotVol) August 18, 2021
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.