New figures have revealed that the number of casualties on roads across Scotland has dropped to its lowest ever level.
Government statistics revealed there were 1,514 fewer people injured in road accidents last year compared to 2016.
The drop in the number of accidents involving injuries was yesterday welcomed by safety campaigners.
However, they called for more work to be carried out to further reduce casualty numbers.
The Transport Scotland figures show that there were 9,391 casualties across Scotland, including 146 deaths in 2017.
The Highland council area was named the worst for fatal crashes during the year.
Fifteen people were killed on the region’s roads and 417 were injured.
There were five deaths in Moray, while nearly 40% of the 84 injuries recorded were classed as serious.
In total, 331 people were hurt in Aberdeenshire and seven people were killed.
The number of injuries were lower in Aberdeen, where two people died and 177 were hurt.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the figures reflect positive results from government-backed safety campaigns.
He also pointed to the initiatives such as the A90 average speed cameras as examples of ways casualty numbers can be lowered.
He said: “Casualties on our roads are at the lowest levels since records began.
“I recognise that this is of little consolation to the friends and relatives of people who have sadly died as a result of road traffic incidents.
“We cannot forget that behind every statistic lies a tragic story.
“That is why we say that one death is one too many and that there is more that we can do.”
Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East, Liam Kerr, said there was “no doubt” that progress was being made on road safety but branded the figures for the Highlands “very concerning”.
“There are still far too many fatalities, and certainly significant room for improvement,” he said.
“As we approach a time of year when there will be more tourists on our roads, it is important that people drive safely and carefully at all times.”
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for safety charity Brake, said: “Tragically 33 people are still killed or seriously injured on Scottish roads every week, so our work is far from done.
“We urge the government to build on this momentum and implement policies which will trigger the next step-change in road safety.”