Publication of road safety issues in Northern Ireland 2017/2018

Date published: 28 February 2019

The Road Safety Issues in Northern Ireland 2017/2018 report is now available.

DRD statistics publication

This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2017/2018 Continuous Household Survey (CHS). The publication is available on the ASRB website at:

Key points

  • The majority of respondents (56%) thought that a 20mph speed limit should be more widely used.
  • Approximately four fifths (80%) of respondents thought a 20mph speed limit should be applied outside schools and 75% thought it should be applied to an area where children play.
  • Just under half of all drivers (48%) reported they never normally exceed the speed limit; however, 44% of drivers stated they exceed the speed limit on motorways, this was followed by 25% on dual carriageways and reduced to 4% for roads in ‘built-up’ areas.
  • More than half of all drivers (52%) reported that they used their phone in some capacity while driving. Approximately one in seven drivers admitted to texting while driving and one in ten admitted to making a hand held call.
  • The top 3 risks stated by respondents of using a mobile phone while driving were being more likely to cause a crash (91%), being more likely to be involved in a crash (84%) and being less likely to notice a danger ahead (82%).
  • Just over half (51%) of respondents believe that drivers were likely to be stopped by police for using their mobile phone while driving.  Almost three quarters of respondents (72%) correctly identified that the police penalty for being caught was a fine plus penalty points with more than half of those surveyed (55%) believing that this penalty should be increased.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The information presented in this publication derives from the 2017/2018 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to the attitudes, awareness and behaviours of respondents to specific road safety issues. The topics included 20mph speed limits, speeding and mobile phone usage. This was the first year that question regarding mobile phone usage was included in the CHS.  The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the population at household level.
  2. A total of 2,805 adults aged 16 and over were surveyed in 2017/2018.
  3. The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and its Road Safety Partners are committed to promoting improved road safety, and to deliver better regulation of the transport sector. An annual programme of research and statistical investigations into road safety problems in Northern Ireland continues to be developed and implemented in collaboration with Road Safety Partner organisations. The results from this report form part of that research programme.
  4. This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at:
  5. For further information please contact:
    Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch
    Department for Infrastructure
    Clarence Court
    10-18 Adelaide Street
    Belfast BT2 8GB

    Tel (press enquiries): 028 9054 0007
    Tel (public enquiries): 028 9054 0029 (Text relay prefix 18001)
  6. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: or out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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