With increased traffic levels expected during the Easter holidays, police are urging drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians to take extra care on the roads
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “With many people enjoying some time off over the coming week, we are appealing to all road users to exercise caution, as our statistics illustrate that, like any other holiday period, there is an increased risk of collisions.
“To date this year, 11 people have been killed on our roads. While that’s six less when compared to the same time last year, these statistics offer no comfort to the families, friends and communities across Northern Ireland who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Considering that many, if not the majority of these deaths caused by collisions could have been avoided; it’s an appalling waste of life.
“Inattention, speeding, or more accurately, excessive speed for the conditions and drink or drug driving, are consistently the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured.
“Over the coming week, we will have additional police resources on the roads across Northern Ireland and will be liaising closely with our An Garda Síochána Traffic Corps colleagues in the border counties, specifically looking for road users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks.
“With many school children and young people enjoying the holidays, road users should also keep an eye out for increased numbers of children using or crossing roads, particularly close to parks and leisure amenities, in addition to junctions and bus stops.
“Pedestrians must pay attention to their environment, whether that means not getting distracted by friends or mobile devices, or being especially careful when walking on country roads by walking against the traffic flow or by wearing highly visible clothing.
“With the better weather we are also particularly mindful of more motorcyclists taking to the roads, so we’re encouraging Bikers to ensure their motorcycles and safety equipment are in good working order, that they ride defensively and that if they haven’t already done so, consider booking a training session on our Bikesafe programme. In addition, drivers need to be alert to the presence of motorcyclists using the road network, particularly when emerging from and turning into junctions.
“Cyclists also need to remember they are amongst the most vulnerable road users, so we recommend wearing a helmet, always using front and rear lights, not listening to music players and keeping aware of their surroundings. At the same time, drivers must be aware of cyclists, paying particular care at junctions, traffic lights, when opening vehicle doors after parking. Most importantly, drivers need to give cyclists enough room when overtaking.
“Police make no excuse for robustly enforcing the law to make Northern Ireland’s roads safer. All road users must share the responsibility to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads.
“All we ask is that drivers slow down, do not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt, drive with greater care and attention and don’t use mobile phones while driving,” Assistant Chief Constable Todd concluded.