Ballymena SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan has warned of a serious increase in deaths resulting from road accidents this year.
He has called on all road users to be very responsible in the final weeks of the year.
Mr O’Loan said: “The figures are very clear. Both at H-District level, which includes Ballymena, and at Northern Ireland level, the figures for road deaths are well up this year compared with last.
“Tragically this year so far 10 people have died in road accidents in H-District and the equivalent in each of the two previous years was six. Similarly at Northern Ireland level, so far this year 50 people have died, whereas last year the comparable figure was 36. I find this terribly disappointing when the trend in recent years has been a dramatic drop in road deaths.”
Mr O’Loan said he felt some statistics particularly stand out.
“Nine of those 50 road deaths this year were motorcyclists. That is out of all proportion to the level of motorcycle use,” he said.
“There must be a lesson there for motorcyclists and surely things can be done to cut that tally. Perhaps a targeted TV campaign or a leaflet issued with the tax disc? Three times as many males as females are dying on the roads. Is that about too much male adrenalin flowing? If male deaths were the same as female, total road deaths would be almost halved.
“We are now in the run up to Christmas. There will be a lot of entertaining with alcohol and there will be dangerous road conditions. I urge all road users to exercise great caution over the next few weeks. Let us do everything we can not to add to the tragedies that have visited 50 homes already this year,” he said.