Highlands & Islands

Wristbands remind tourists to 'keep left' on Scottish roads

Drive on the left wristbands Image copyright Andrew Smith
Image caption Wristbands to remind tourists to drive on the left have been produced

Foreign tourists visiting Scotland are to be given wristbands to help remind them to keep left when driving.

Visitors will be encouraged to wear the bands, handed out by car hire companies, on their left wrist.

Road Safety Scotland said that inexperience of driving on the left was a contributory factor in 65 road accidents in 2017.

The group's director Michael McDonnell said the wristbands would act as a constant reminder.

He told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that while it was useful to have road signs carrying the same message, there was a risk they could be ignored by some drivers.

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Media captionNear misses on Highlands roads captured in dashcam footage

Mr McDonnell said: "There is a phenomenon called sign blindness. If you put up too many signs people just stop reading them or stop looking at them.

"Also if driving in a foreign country there is the potential for too much information and that you cannot process it all."

Road Safety Scotland has worked with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association on the latest initiative, which was launched at Urquhart Castle in the Highlands.

The wristbands feature the slogan Drive on the Left in nine languages - English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese.

Car rental companies will distribute them along with updated Road Safety Scotland leaflets.

Supt Louise Blakelock said Police Scotland was supporting the new road safety initiative.

She added: "Any serious collision on our roads is absolutely devastating and, while it may seem like a simple message, it's crucial to remind people of the differences of driving in Scotland and how to drive safely when they're visiting our beautiful country."

Earlier this year Sharon Anslow, who was injured in a crash with a car being driven by a tourist in Skye last year, launched her own local Keep Left campaign.

She is calling for more signs and road markings on roads in the Highlands.

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