Reduction in road deaths welcomed
THE Secretary of Antrim and District Road Safety Committee has welcomed figures which reveal a significant reduction in the number of people killed as a result of road accidents.
Alderman Drew Ritchie said that while the reduction was welcome, efforts must continue until there are no further road deaths.
“Not so long ago well over a 100 people died annually on our roads,” Alderman Ritchie said.
He added: “The Department of the Environment must continue to work closely with the public and statuary agencies to ensure road safety campaigns continue and ensure it remains high on everyone mind.”
There were 48 road deaths in Northern Ireland in 2012, the lowest in over 80 years since records began.
In the Antrim area, four people died as a result of road accidents in the borough.
Last year 59 people died. Up until 2010, when 55 people lost their lives on the road, the number of road deaths had never dropped below 100.
Ald. Ritchie said while he welcomed the continuing drop in road deaths in 2012, road users should continue to exercise caution.
“The reduction is good to see but 48 people lost their lives - some from our borough - and their families and friends are suffering the pain, despair and agony of losing a loved one,” Ald. Ritchie said.
He added: I agree with the DOE Minister that we must continue to work towards zero deaths on our roads each year.”
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said the main causes of collisions continue to be speeding, drink-driving and driver, rider and pedestrian carelessness.
Many more men than women are killed; child fatalities have increased in 2012.
“The figure confirms that road users are taking responsibility and lives have been saved as a result. This factor, the work of doctors and emergency services, better roads, stronger campaigns all make contributions to [this] news,” Mr Attwood said.
He added: “The next horizon is moving towards a vision of zero fatalities. This is some time off – but if we can move from hundreds to dozens of deaths a year, can we not move further?
“A zero ambition would require radical and bold action to deal with those issues and would include measures that I am already working towards – a new drink-drive regime, a new driver training, testing and post-test regime, all-Ireland recognition of penalty points are examples.
“I continue to urge road users to pay attention, expect the unexpected, slow down, always wear your seatbelt and never ever drink or take drugs and drive. By doing so – here and across the island – lives are saved.”
Speaking about the figures, Head of PSNI’s Operations Branch, Superintendent Mark Purdon said: “One death is one too many and road safety remains and will remain a priority for the police throughout 2013.
“Although we saw a decrease in the number of road deaths in 2012 to the lowest level ever recorded in Northern Ireland, we can take little comfort in the fact that 48 people lost their lives on our roads.
“The pain of these avoidable deaths has touched family, friends and communities right across Northern Ireland and beyond. Each one of these victims represents a tragic loss for individual families and friends.
“We will be working hard to save more lives on our roads and prevent serious injuries. We are all responsible for road safety and today I am asking all drivers, passengers and pedestrians to help save lives in 2013.”
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Weather for Antrim
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
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Wind direction: North
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