Belfast Telegraph

Spate of Northern Ireland road deaths 'should act as a wake-up call for drivers': Four people killed in just 24 hours

By John Mulgrew

The PSNI has said the upsurge in road deaths across Northern Ireland this year should act as a wake-up call for drivers after four people were killed in the space of 24 hours.

The head of road policing, superintendent Gerry Murray,  has said drivers must take "personal responsibility for their own safety" in light of the recent spate of deaths.

His comments come after two men were killed in a horrific crash in south Belfast on Tuesday.

A driver and motorcyclist died after the collision on the Milltown Road close to a petrol station.

Their deaths bring the number of people killed on Northern Ireland's roads this year to 40.

That's almost a 50% increase on figures for this time in 2013.

Speaking today, Gerry Murray said "the sad reality is that many of the deaths and serious injuries on our roads could be avoided".

"Since the start of the year 40 people have lost their lives on our roads and within the last 24 hours the family and friends of two more people are grieving the loss of a loved one," he said.

"People need to start really thinking about the consequences of their actions. Bikers, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all have the right to use the road but with that right is a responsibility to do so safely.

"As a police service we are routinely and actively on the lookout for people who are likely to cause a collision but enforcing the law is not the only answer to reducing road deaths. We all have a part to play."

The deaths of a two men in south Belfast on Tuesday night comes after two others died in separate road crashes, within just hours of one another.

Motorcyclist Mark McClements (49) from Whitehead died in a crash between his motorbike and a car in Carrickfergus on Monday.

Elsewhere, a 51-year-old woman was killed in a road crash on the Magherafelt Road between Magherafelt and Moneymore shortly before 9am on Tuesday morning.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan offered his sympathies to the families of those who have died on Northern Ireland's road.

"The increase in road deaths this year highlights that using the roads is the most dangerous thing that most of us do most days," he said.

"Whenever we use the roads, we all need to keep our focus at all times and ensure that we adopt safe and appropriate behaviours.

"By treating the road as a shared space and taking care, we can all reduce the risk of being involved in a collision."

Further reading

Two dead after motorbike and car involved in road crash in Belfast

Roads claim the lives of four people in 24 hours of carnage

Two killed in separate road crashes: Man dead after Co Down smash and pedestrian dies in Portadown 

Is DoE on right road with shock TV advert which shows speeding car killing entire group of children? 

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