Chief Inspector Vinnie Fisher, the local area commander for the Scottish Borders, gives us an update on policing in the region...

"This week’s column has something of a road safety theme to it, as we are now at the stage where, as a result of lighter days and (sometimes) more favourable weather, we will be seeing a lot more people on the road network.

"I firmly believe that educating road users on how to stay safe, focussing on avoidance rather than blame, be it when behind the wheel, in the saddle, or even on foot, is the best way to reduce road casualties. As such I would encourage those eligible, to take advantage of the Drivewise initiatives still operating in the Scottish Borders.

"Those aged 17-25 years old can undertake advanced driving courses, and those aged 65 years and older can undertake refresher courses. Drivers particularly within these age groups feature predominantly in our casualty statistics, both locally and nationally.

"Drivewise is aimed at promoting good motoring practices and reducing the number of young and older drivers killed or seriously injured on Borders roads.

"The Scottish Borders is a popular tourist destination year-round and ensuring these visitors also stay safe on our roads is also vitally important – including those who come into the region on motorcycles.

"Our motorcycle safety campaign is now well underway and the Safety Camera Unit are assisting with short-term deployments along routes popular with motorcyclists, where previous injury collisions have occurred. The A708, by St Mary’s Loch being a prime example.

"Our Scottish Borders Community Action Team are currently exploring the possibility of implementing the Community Speedwatch scheme in the Scottish Borders. Community Speedwatch, which originated in Fife a number of years ago, allows volunteers to check vehicle speeds at designated areas, who then forward details to Police Scotland to carry out appropriate checks and issue warning letters.

"It is hoped this will help address those instances where speeding causes public annoyance, but doesn’t necessarily translate to the sort of personal injury collision profile that would otherwise justify pro-active police deployment and enforcement.

"The scheme will have a pilot period where its suitability will be assessed, and if successful, Community Speedwatch will be rolled out to the whole of the Scottish Borders.

"Road safety and casualty reduction are priorities within the Scottish Borders and, hopefully as this column demonstrates, the public have a vital role to play in helping us keep the roads safe for everyone."