Tough fines in bid to cut road deaths

Published Friday, 05 September 2014
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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has backed tough new sanctions from the PSNI aimed at reducing the number of road deaths in Northern Ireland.

Tough fines in bid to cut road deaths
Fifty-four people have died on the roads so far this year. (© Getty)

In the past, motorists caught for offences such as failing to wear a seatbelt, using a mobile phone while driving, or exceeding the speed limit, could have received a discretionary warning.

But from Friday, a £60 fine and three penalty points will be issued.

The number of people who have died this year so far as a result of road collisions exceeds the total number of deaths on the roads for the whole of 2013.

Fifty-four people have lost their lives on the roads so far in 2014 - compared to 57 road deaths in 2013 and 48 in 2012.

We all need to accept responsibility for our behaviour on the road and the consequences that follow

Mark H Durkan

Minister Durkan, SDLP, said: "My department, working with many other organisations, continues to work towards a vision of zero road deaths.

"Visible enforcement of our road traffic laws is an important part of this.

"Our road traffic laws exist to keep us all safe. I therefore welcome PSNI's recent announcements about their enforcement activity and will continue to work closely with them."

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said the majority of road deaths are preventable.

He continued: "Our approach to road safety has always been twofold; education and enforcement. We need to do everything we can to make people understand that their actions can have serious consequences and we have spent considerable resources, along with our partner agencies, educating people on road safety.

"And we will continue to do this however we also need to make sure unsafe drivers are held accountable and at times this will mean an increased focus on enforcement."

He added: "This is not about making money. It's about saving lives. The increase in deaths on our roads is something we should all be worried about, but more importantly, is something we can all do something about.

"We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing seatbelts, ignoring the mobile phone, and driving within the speed limits and in response to the road conditions. We all need to take responsibility for making our roads safer."

© UTV News
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26 Comments
toron cana in belfast wrote (17 days ago):
i am for cutting down on road deaths like anyone else. but when did the law allow the psni to change the rules when they want. clearly this is a breach of the law and anyone who is fined can contest it and win because it has not passed into law. also what timing psni you start fining people just about the same time your budgets are being cut. thats suspicious in itself. but then again the biggest law breakers are the psni.
culchy in the stix wrote (17 days ago):
I see people not just chatting on their mobile phones but texting too. Last week a woman drove past me, using both hands and her rear view mirror to put her hair up. Some of them don't know what the red light means on traffic lights and plough on regardless, or what a zebra crossing is for. And whatever happened to kids walking to school? Oh and this isn't America, our wee roads aren't designed for big 4x4s.
Tom Graham in Newtownabbey wrote (17 days ago):
Enforcement rather than education shows total ineptitude on the part of the PSNI, lack of resources most probable cause.
John-Irish in Belfast wrote (17 days ago):
using a mobile phone while driving = fine 100% agree and not wearing a seat belt while driving =fine %100 agree but exceeding the speed limit on motor ways main roads that arent busy and duel carriage = fine get a grip most motorist just follow the flow speed of the traffic even thhe police for speeding ?????? going and extra maximum 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is ok as long as its not a busy road and not near schools are streets were kids play so get off your high horse and really 10 years for driving without insurance you someone must be smoking pot you wont even get that for rape manslaughter or being a pedophile where 10 years should be minimum so go back to sleep Belfast
Dave d in Down wrote (18 days ago):
About time too. The standard of driving on our roads is appalling. It is as clear as day that the majority have little or no knowledge of the highway code. And dont use this as an excuse to catch easy targets, ie on the motorways. I live on a 30mph road and the speed of drivers and people overtaking is shocking. And in 4 years never once have i seen the police with a speed gun!
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