North faces ‘road safety emergency’, PSNI warns

Five fatalities, one every 48 hours, in 2014 , prompts concern from police

Northern Ireland is facing a road safety emergency, the PSNI said today

Northern Ireland is facing a road safety emergency, the PSNI said today


Northern Ireland is facing a “road safety emergency”, the PSNI said today after the fifth fatal death on the North’s roads this year.

“We have had someone dying on our roads every 48 hours so far in 2014. That is five deaths in the first 10 days of the New Year and five families left devastated,” Superintendent David Moore, of the PSNI’s Operational Support Department said at a press conference today.

He urged all users to take extra care on the roads this year. The “sad reality was that many deaths and injuries were “avoidable”, he said. “Collective effort” was needed to end the carnage, he said.

Distraction was among the issues which the PSNI urged drivers to consider when getting behind the wheel. “The first task of everyone taking to the road in a vehicle is to concentrate on driving that vehicle without being distracted by anything including mobile phones,” Supt Moore said.

Motorists “must not” drive after taking alcohol or drugs and this would not be “tolerated” by police, he said.

Drivers were also asked to slow down. “It is not about driving at a speed suitable for the set of road conditions, it is about being able to respond to the unexpected,” he said. He also urged everyone in the vehicle to wear a seatbelt.

Pedestrians were also asked to play their part by wearing bright clothing and reflective jackets or armbands “to ensure they can be seen”.

The warning comes after the latest death in Co Armagh last evening. A 58-year-old pedestrian died after he was hit by a car on the Newtown Road between Newtownhamilton and Belleeks. The woman (29) who was driving the car was arrested on suspicion of a number of road traffic offences.

Road fatalities in the North last year rose to 56 from the all-time low of 48.