The Northern Ireland Road Safety Strategy (NIRSS) to 2020 Annual Statistical Report, 2022 has been published today

Date published: 29 September 2022

The NIRSS to 2020 annual statistics are now available. These data provide the finalised National Statistics (NS) which track the 2021 position against the four targets and various key performance indicators contained in the Strategy.

DRD statistics publication

The publication is available on the ASRB website at:

Key Points

In 2021

  • There were 50 fatalities in road traffic collisions. This represents a reduction of 60% from the 2004-2008 Strategy baseline figure (126), and a decrease of 11% from 2020.
  • There were 809 people seriously injured (SI) in road traffic collisions which is 36% more than the number recorded in 2020 and 27% less than the baseline figure of 1,111. SI numbers have fallen considerably since the baseline. However, the annual percentage increase between 2020 and 2021 (36%) was the largest increase in the series.
  • There were 80 children (aged 0 to 15) killed or seriously injured (KSIs) in road traffic collisions – 25 more than in 2020. This represents an reduction of 37% from the baseline figure (128) and an increase of 45% over the year.
  • There were 180 young people (aged 16 to 24) KSIs in road traffic collisions, which was 41% more then the number recorded in 2020 and 51% below the baseline of 366. This is the highest largest percentage increase in the series.
  • All of these changes should be viewed in the context of lockdown measures in relation to Covid-19 that were introduced on 23rd March 2020. Traffic flows fell considerably in 2020, but increased again in 2021 as restrictions eased. These changes in traffic volumes should be considered when examining road traffic collisions over time.

Notes to editors: 

The Northern Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy (NIRSS) to 2020 Annual Statistical Report, 2021 is the eleventh publication in the lifetime of the reporting on the targets and KPIs set out in the Road Safety Strategy to 2020. Further information on the Strategy is available at: Northern Ireland Road Safety Strategy until 2020  

  1. The report is typically based on the period 1 January to 31 December 2021. The report monitors the progress in 2021 of the targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) set out in the NIRSS.  The targets and indicators are measured against a baseline of the 2004-2008 average figures (unless otherwise stated).
  2. There are four principal targets and a suite of twenty key performance indicators (KPIs) which currently underpin the road safety strategy.  Many of the indicators are calculated as a rate in order to properly take account of the changing level of exposure, and hence risk, attached to the subject group.  
  3. This report details progress to date on the four key targets and across the strategy’s KPIs.  A number of the indicators, when reported by single year, show a lot of volatility. In these cases an additional figure reporting on a five year rolling average (or smoothed trend) has been included to give a clearer indication of which direction the underlying trend is moving.
  4. With regards to the speeding KPI, free-running speed (as recorded between 11pm to 7am) is considered to be the speed at which vehicles will travel when they are unimpeded by other vehicles. It is considered a truer reflection of a motorist’s speeding behavior and, in the absence of congestion, would generally be higher than a 24 hour or daytime speeding rate. For further information on this, and all other indicator specifications and definitions, please see the Indicator Guidance Booklet: Road Safety Strategy to 2020 Indicator Guidance Booklet
  5. Following an independent assessment by the UK Statistics Authority, the report received National Statistics accreditation in September 2016, demonstrating that it meets the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value.
  6. Electronic copies of the Northern Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy (NIRSS) to 2020 Annual Statistical Report are available at:  Northern Ireland Road Safety Strategy to 2020 statistics

Additional Information

For more information relating to this publication, including additional analysis, breakdowns of data, or alternative formats please contact:

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch,
Room 5.25,
Clarence Court,
10 - 18 Adelaide Street,
Town Parks

For media enquiries please contact the DfI Press Office 028 9054 0007.

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