Belfast Telegraph

Warning after five die on Northern Ireland roads in 10 days

BY LINDA STEWART

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has called an urgent meeting of the Road Safety Forum following five road deaths in the first 10 days of 2014.

A senior police officer warned that Northern Ireland was facing a "road safety emergency" with the number of road deaths since the new year already the same as the whole of January last year.

He warned drivers to take care in dark, treacherous conditions.

In Armagh, Catholic Archbishop Eamon Martin used Masses to urge parishioners to take extra care.

"If all of us made a late new year's resolution to improve our use of the roads, whether that be as drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, then some families will be spared the terrible anguish of losing a loved one this year," he said.

Mr Durkan last night urged road users to make a collective effort to help keep everyone safe on the roads.

"I have decided to convene a meeting of the Road Safety Forum to engage stakeholders in considering what more might be done to keep road users safe," he said.

"Together we have made enormous strides in road safety in Northern Ireland and we must do everything we can to continue that progress."

The most recent deaths included a 58-year-old who was struck by a car and killed between Newtownhamilton and Belleeks, in Co Armagh, on Friday. A 29-year-old female driver was later arrested.

On the same day, a 22-year-old Dunmurry man was killed after the stolen car he was driving collided with a van in south Belfast.

Today sees the funeral of 62-year-old Patsy McCrory, who was killed when his car was in collision with a jeep on the Melmount Road between Sion Mills and Victoria Bridge, Co Tyrone, last week.

His wife, son and daughter, who were injured in the collision, remained in hospital last night.

Superintendent David Moore, from the PSNI's Operational Support Department, said Northern Ireland was facing a road safety emergency, with someone dying on the roads every 48 hours so far in 2014.

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