Road death toll a 'wake-up call'

Published Wednesday, 02 July 2014
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Police are reminding the public to take personal responsibility for their own safety after four people were killed on the roads in a 24-hour period.

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Police held a press conference on Wednesday in response to five deaths which occurred on the roads in the past five days.

Two men were killed when a motorbike and car collided in south Belfast on Tuesday evening.

Earlier that day a woman was killed in Magherafelt and a biker who lost his life in Carrickfergus on Monday was also named as Mark McClements from Whitehead.

At the weekend, 18-year-old David McNulty died close to the village of Garrison in Co Fermanagh.

Head of Road Policing, Superintendent Gerry Murray said that 40 people have been killed on Northern Ireland's roads since the start of the year.

He stressed that the tragic loss of lives should be a "wake-up call" to everyone in the region.

Within the last 24 hours, the family and friends of two more people are grieving the loss of a loved one.

PSNI Superintendent Gerry Murray

"The sad reality is that many of the deaths and serious injuries on our roads could be avoided," Supt Murray said.

"Speed is the number one cause of fatal collisions so we really need people to understand that, by slowing down and altering their speed to suit the conditions of the road, they can potentially save a life.

"As well as slowing down, we need drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists to pay more attention, to respect other road users, and to take personal responsibility for their own safety."

He continued: "People need to start really thinking about the consequences of their actions. Bikers, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all have the right to use the road, but with that right is a responsibility to do so safely.

"As a Police Service, we are routinely and actively on the lookout for people who are likely to cause a collision - but enforcing the law is not the only answer to reducing road deaths. We all have a part to play.

"So before you get behind the wheel of a car today, get on your bicycle or motorcycle, or stick on your running shoes, stop and think - how many people have to die on our roads before you decide to take greater care?"

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan added: "I offer my sincere sympathies to the families of those who have died. The increase in road deaths this year highlights that using the roads is the most dangerous thing that most of us do most days.

"Whenever we use the roads, we all need to keep our focus at all times and ensure that we adopt safe and appropriate behaviours.

"By treating the road as a shared space and taking care, we can all reduce the risk of being involved in a collision."

© UTV News
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12 Comments
Alan in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
Yes, drivers should know but the message isn't getting through. How many times have you thought you have been on a race track recently? How many cars have you seen jumpling red lights? How many cars have you thought were not being driven carefully recently? But then how many speed traps have you seen recently? How many Police cars have you seen recently? Message isn't getting through, action speaks louder than words!
anon in Co Down wrote (114 days ago):
I think speed although a problem isn't the only issue here. What about the 2 second rule, aggressive drivers and idiots that don't indicate. speed kills and there's no doubt about that but there are many other drivin related issues.
Hugh in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
At Richard, Don’t be so stupid, It is proven that speed cameras do not reduce accidents on our roads, it is just a money making scheme, How about making people more aware of the dangers of the road, (Because it does not say in any of these news articles lately that speeding was a factor) Most People think the advertisements that are on TV at the minute are laughable. They might be hard hitting but they are all aimed at young drivers etc. Young ones are just used as scapegoats when it comes to accidents involving cars motorbikes etc…
Aghallon in Aghalee wrote (114 days ago):
As a profesional hgv driver the amount of stunts and ignorance that i see on the roads everyday im supprised there arnt more deaths on our roads ! I often think to myself " you certainly wouldent have done that on your driving test "
Travis Bickle in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
Aaron is right ,no one can wait on the roads .It is impossible to do a journey here without a near miss on the road.Two minutes drive away from where the double fatality happened last night i was cut up by an impatient driver and of course got the usual hand gestures when i pumped the horn.N.I. roads are full of aggressive speeding motorists with no regard for others.
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