We all share the road and we all have the power to make a difference when it comes to reducing the number of tragedies which claim lives and cause serious injury.
That was the message today from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) after figures showed that, during 2022, 55 people lost their lives as a result of road tragedies, five more than last year.
Julie Harrison, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Infrastructure said:
“This year, 16 of the 55 people who died were pedestrians, compared to eight last year.
“It is important to remember that behind the figures, there are families and friends who are grieving and whose lives have been devastated. First and foremost, my thoughts are with those who are mourning a loved one; and with those whose lives have been changed by injury as a result of a road traffic collision.
“A split second on the road can have devastating consequences. We know that most road deaths and serious injuries are due to human error so by being vigilant at all times of other road users – people who walk, wheel, cycle, motorcycle, drive, ride a horse as well as passengers in vehicles – we can all make a difference.
“As we begin 2023, I ask all of us who share the road to respect fellow road users and follow these four basic rules: slow down, pay attention, never drive having taken alcohol or drugs and always wear your seatbelt, however short your journey.”
Almost all road traffic collisions are caused by people, mostly drivers, behaving carelessly/inattentively, dangerously or simply ignoring the law. The main causes of collisions continue to be driver carelessness/inattention, speeding, drink/drug driving. Failure to wear a seatbelt in the event of a collision increases the likelihood of death or life changing injury.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Todd said:
“Across Northern Ireland, far too many families are starting the New Year, coping with the aftermath of a serious collision. From family members who have been killed or seriously injured, to those recovering or learning to live with life changing injuries.
“There are also far too many people now living with their own responsibility for the death or serious harm caused to another. That of course can lead to prosecution and potentially imprisonment.
“Police remain committed to working with communities and partners to make our roads safer for everyone, however the stark reality is that many collisions can be avoided.
“We all share the roads, so we all share the responsibility for road safety.
“Slow down. Pay greater attention to your surroundings. Always wear your seat belt and Never drive after drinking or taking drugs.”
Notes to editors:
- Provisional figures released today by PSNI show that in 2022 there were 55 deaths on Northern Ireland’s roads. 2021 there were 50 deaths on roads in Northern Ireland as a result of road traffic collisions (up to 11.59pm on 29/12/2022). This compares to 50 in 2021 and 56 in 2020.
- There have been 740 people seriously injured on our roads from 1st January to 31 October 2022. This compares to 627 people for the same period in 2021, an increase of 113 people. A final total for 2022 will not be confirmed by PSNI until spring 2023.
- The highest monthly death toll across the year was December where 9 people died on our roads.
- Road user fatalities in 2021, by category, are as follows;
Pedal Cyclist 1
Pillion Passenger 0
Other Road User 0
- There were three child (under 16) fatalities recorded in 2022, the same as in both 2021 and 2020.
- To pledge to share the road to zero road deaths, visit http://www.sharetheroadtozero.com.
- The Highway Code is available to download free here https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/highway-code-downloadable-version
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 90540007 or email email@example.com. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
- Road improvement scheme for A21 Ballygowan Road, Ballygowan 02 June 2023
- Consultation on Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares Scheme launched 01 June 2023
- Road improvement scheme for Quay Street, Ardglass 24 May 2023
- Publication of ‘DfI Driver, Vehicle, Operator, and Enforcement Statistics 2022/23 Quarter Four’ 23 May 2023