Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today urged everyone to take personal responsibility as they use the roads.
Mr Durkan made his
comments as he reflected on the loss of life on Northern Ireland’s roads in
2015. “As the year draws to a close, we remember that 74 people have lost
their lives since this time last year.
“I offer my sympathy
to those who have lost loved ones and those who are suffering serious injuries
through road tragedy in 2015. I know that the pain of such a loss is deeply
felt by family, friends and the wider community for a long time.”
collisions are sudden, traumatic events, occurring in a moment but with
consequences enduring for a lifetime.
The Minister said:
“The number of road fatalities and serious injuries over the past year is a
serious concern. While five fewer people have died on our roads than
last year, every death is tragic and will have brought enormous suffering. I
say again today, any death is one too many, let’s make 2016 a better year on
“I am personally
committed to making road safety a priority. I will continue to work with my Executive
colleagues, the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the
Ambulance Service to improve road safety.
“We will continue to
focus on problem areas, such as drink driving, speeding, carelessness and
inattention; and on groups which are over-represented in the casualty figures.
These are a key focus of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill which is currently
going through the Assembly. The bill includes a package of measures to tackle
those who choose to drink and drive, to reform the learner and restricted
driver schemes and to introduce a system of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).
“I have just launched
an anti drink drive social media campaign in the run-up to the Christmas season
and I have also commissioned a second social media campaign specifically
addressing mobile phone use while driving, along with a further campaign
challenging young driver distraction, both of which will be launched in the
Almost all casualties
on our roads are caused by poor road user behaviour and are therefore
preventable. Mr Durkan concluded: “Together, it is our actions as road users
that make a difference. It is each of us who can save lives, it is each of us
who can protect ourselves and others from death and serious injury as we share
the road - by slowing down, by always paying attention, reading the road and
anticipating the actions of other road users, never driving having consumed
drink or drugs, ignoring the mobile phone and always wearing your seatbelt, no
matter how short the journey.
“I remain committed
to doing all that I can to prevent the pointless tragedies on our roads. I call
on everyone to join me in making Road Safety a personal New Years’ resolution.”
Constable Alan Todd said, “While our preliminary figures indicate that 74
people have been killed on the roads in Northern Ireland, which is five less
than 2014, one death on the roads is one too many.
“As we start the New
Year, there are families and communities across Northern Ireland coping with
the loss of loved ones who were killed in road traffic collisions. For others
involved in serious collisions, it can mean learning to cope with life changing
“Road safety will
continue to be a key priority for police, but the reality is that many
collisions can be avoided. We must all take personal responsibility for our
actions. Slow down. Pay greater attention to your surroundings. Always wear a
seatbelt and NEVER ever drive after drinking or taking drugs.”
Notes to editors:
figures released today (at the time of issue) by PSNI show that in 2015 there
were 74 deaths on Northern Ireland roads as a result of road traffic
2. In 1931 there were
114 road deaths and this number increased over the years before peaking in 1972
with 372 deaths. The number of road deaths then gradually reduced during the
late 1970s and the 1980s before levelling off with around 155 deaths per year
during the 1990s. Road deaths then decreased during the 2000s, dropping from
148 fatalities in 2001 to 115 in 2009 before the numbers more than halved in
2010 (55 fatalities) with similar numbers recorded in 2011 (59 fatalities). The
lowest figure of 48 deaths was recorded in 2012, increasing to 57 in 2013 and
79 in 2014.
3. Drivers of motor
vehicles were the single largest casualty class from 1 January to 31 December
2015, accounting for 34 casualties killed. There were also 17 passengers, 19
pedestrians and 4 motorcyclists killed in road traffic collisions in 2015.
There were no cyclist fatalities this year.
4. There were five
child (under 16) fatalities recorded in 2015, one more than in 2014.
5. Road user
fatalities in 2015, by category, are as follows;
Pedal Cyclist 0
Pillion Passenger 0
Other Road User 0
6. Northern Ireland
Road Deaths 2011-2015
Year - Total
2011 - 59
2012 - 48
2013 - 57
2014 - 79
2015 - 74
7. Below is a
snapshot of road death trends at various years from 1931 to present day.
Year - Total
1931 - 114
1945 - 124
1953 - 163
1964 - 219
1969 - 257
1972 - 372
1982 - 216
1990 - 185
2000 - 171
2009 - 115
2010 - 55
2011 - 59
2012 - 48
2013 – 57
2014 - 79
2015 – 74
8. Some of the
activities the Department of Environment has engaged in during 2015 include:
In March two new
motorcyclist safety campaigns were launched, entitled ‘Bike Speed’ and ‘Bike
Aware’. ‘Bike Speed’ confronts riders with their vulnerability, while ‘Bike
Aware’ aims to persuade drivers to take more care for the safety of
In June the 2015/16
Road Safety Grant Scheme was launched which approved funding for 15 projects in
the voluntary and community sector across the North.
Also in June, a road
safety Community Toolkit was launched to give local voluntary groups all the
resources they need to organise events, bringing road safety messages into the
heart of local communities. In the same month, the Safe Driving Teaching Aid
was rolled out, enabling driving instructors to address road safety with the
In December a new
Anti Drink Drive Campaign was launched on social media, supported by some TV
activity. This new campaign reinforces that the only safe level of alcohol when
driving is no alcohol.
Two new campaigns
have been commissioned; one will specifically address the various issues in
relation to mobile phone use while driving; and the second young driver
The Department also
continues to provide a range of resources and schemes to be used by teachers to
allow them to improve road safety behaviours in children and young people.
The Road Safety Forum
continued to meet to facilitate the sharing of views and concerns of key
continued working in partnership with the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Fire and
Rescue Service and the NI Ambulance Service to deliver a programme of road
safety education and enforcement initiatives.
DOE continued to work
closely with other organisations to deliver the road safety message at local
levels. In particular, Allstate NI, GAA, Coca-Cola, the MoD and several
motorsport organisations have been hugely supportive.
While DOE has
responsibility for road safety, many partners have contributed to work during
9. To pledge to share
the road to zero road deaths, visit http://www.sharetheroadtozero.com
10. For media
enquiries please contact DOE Press Office tel. 028 9025 6058 or out of office
hours, contact EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will