POP-UP ‘Bobs’ are helping improve road safety in the Borders, according to police chiefs.

Since the start of the year, cardboard cut outs of officers have been deployed in speeding hotspots around the region.

And bosses at Police Scotland say they are having a positive impact.

Speaking at Friday’s meeting of the Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board, Chief Inspector Andy McLean said: “Road safety is an issue which is very close to my heart.

“We have a number of projects in place to help make our roads safer.

“The uptake in the Drivewise scheme has been significant, which is great because it helps people improve their driving skills.

“The pop-up Bobs have also been very well received. They allow us to put a cardboard officer in areas where speeding is a problem.

“This means we can station a real officer just down the road, to stop drivers breaking the limit.

“There is also a lot of work ongoing to help protect ‘vulnerable’ road users, such as horse riders and cyclists. We will often put a plain-clothed officer on a bike or horse and an unmarked car just behind to ensure drivers are passing safely.

“We have issued tickets to people for careless driving as part of this initiative.”

There were 17 people killed or seriously injured on Borders roads between April and June – one more than the same period last year.

But the number of those suffering minor injuries fell by 26 per cent.

Ch Insp McLean added: “Being in the Borders, there are a few incidents which involve motorbikes, as this area is a magnet for bikers.

“It is a great place they come to enjoy the scenery and the roads, but unfortunately if you come off, there is not much to protect you.

“We will continue to look at more education initiatives to help people improve their driving skills in the Borders, but the difficulty is that some people involved in the incidents have been from outwith the area.

“One positive to note is that we have seen a decrease in the number of over 65s involved in accidents.

“It seems to be the middle-age band who have been in the most.”