Safety campaign targets older road users

Published Tuesday, 20 November 2012
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A new road safety campaign is highlighting importance of protecting older road users following a rise in the numbers of road deaths in the over 65s.

Safety campaign targets older road users
A collision reconstruction launched the safety campaign. (© NIFRS)

Road deaths in Northern Ireland have halved in the last two years but pensioners remain a high risk group on the roads.

Twelve people aged 65 and over were killed in road accidents last year, which is double the previous year's figure.

A total of 110 people in this age group were also seriously injured last year.

A reconstruction showing the devastating affects of road collisions took place on Tuesday to drive the message home.

Dale Ashford, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Safety Services, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service explained: "Whether involved in a collision as a driver, passenger or as a pedestrian, the consequences are that those aged over 65 can be more vulnerable to serious injuries or death.

"We (drivers) need to take a bit more care and remember that they are maybe older, their hearing may not be as good, their eyesight may not be as good as when they were younger and to give them that little bit of extra time on the roads."

If we share the road, we have to share the responsibility. Everyone has the right to travel on the road. Everyone has the right to come home safely to their loved ones.

Environment Minister Alex Attwod

Dame Mary Peters who is backing this campaign says she often feels vulnerable on the roads.

"I do walk in the country most days, I feel very vulnerable on the roads because traffic goes by at such a speed, especially when it is raining and the roads are wet and you have to jump into the ditch to avoid being hit by cars," she said.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said urged road users to respect everyone's journey.

Public Safety Minister Edwin Poots said despite the improving record, there are still too many unnecessary deaths on the roads.

He said: "We must do all we can to reduce the pain, loss and suffering to individuals, families and communities caused by road traffic collisions and the Road Safety Week initiative will play an important role in doing so."

© UTV News
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1 Comments
philip brierley in lisburn wrote (704 days ago):
I think your programme on road safety was absolutely dire you seem to be blaming only the elderly, yet on a daily basis we see mainly younger people using mobile phones and even using I pads CLIPPED ON THEIR STEERING WHEELS WHILST DRIVING PLEASE MAKE YOUR REPORTING AT LEAST FAIR.
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