Most drivers have experienced the frustration of trying to make their way along a Highland road on a sunny summer Sunday.

Stuck behind a caravan van or a queue or traffic on a winding A road, there is a temptation to step on the gas at the first chance you get.

A typical example of where this happens is the main A82 Glasgow to Inverness highway north of Loch Lomond. Here a narrow stretch gives way to a long straight. Now the area is to get more speed cameras. One in three drivers, according to authorities, are over the limit.

Rural roads are dangerous, especially for those not used to them. A whole generation of tourists are being lured to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. Some, on motorbikes or in supercars, want to go fast. Others, on push bikes or campers, want to go slow. This is not a good mix.

READ MORE: Crackdown as speeding tourists turn roads into race tracks

Some of the new motoring holiday routes marketed by tourism authorities are not just appealing to those on the look-out for Highland culture or stunning scenery.

The North Coast 500 - which includes some of the toughest roads in Britain, sich as the Applecross switchback - has provoked a sort of ‘bragging rights’ race to see if it can be completed in 24 hours.

Police rarely visited some of these routes in the past. Now they are deploying high visibility patrols. It’s been two decades since the Scottish Executive investigated tourism and road traffic accidents. Visitors, a special report discovered, do not necessarily make roads more dangerous.

But they did cause specific issues: such as driving on the wrong side of the road - easier to do where traffic is light - or failing to understand the conventions of a single track road.

Yet it was locals who were often found to speed - not visitors.

For all the worries, it is worth bearing in mind that - overall - it has never been safer than today on Scotland’s roads.

Statistics will vary from year to year but the general trend is for fewer accidents that cause injuries.

There were 8,138 traffic casualties in 2018-2019, down from just under 9000 a year earlier. True, the number of people who died rose, to 182 from 146.

Road safety officials are not complacent. They remain concerned, especially about bikers, cyclists and pedestrians. However, as recently as 1987 the road death toll was as high as 517.