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74 people killed on Northern Ireland's roads in 2015

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 01/01/2016

Stormont Environment minister Mark H Durkan is urging the public to
Stormont Environment minister Mark H Durkan is urging the public to "make saving lives your New Year resolution"

Seventy-four families across Northern Ireland are grieving after their loved ones died on our roads during 2015.

The PSNI said 34 drivers, 17 passengers, 19 pedestrians and four motorcyclists lost their lives.

Five were under 16. It is down from 79 deaths recorded in 2014.

Stormont Environment minister Mark H Durkan is urging the public to "make saving lives your New Year resolution".

"As the year draws to a close, we remember that 74 people have lost their lives since this time last year," Mr Durkan said. "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."

Mr Durkan said 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 our roads."

Mr Durkan says he is committed to making road safety a priority and will continue to work with Executive colleagues, the PSNI, the 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," he said.

"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.

"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 coming months.

"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.

"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 Year's resolution."

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd explained road safety will continue to be a key priority for police and offered this advice.

"We must all take personal responsibility for our actions," he said.

"Slow down.

"Pay greater attention to your surroundings.

"Always wear a seatbelt and never ever drive after drinking or taking drugs."

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