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All-Ireland road deaths average nearly 600 per year since records began in 1959

Published 18/11/2016

A Renault Clio involved in a road accident, claiming the lives of two nuns in 2014
A Renault Clio involved in a road accident, claiming the lives of two nuns in 2014

Almost 600 people on average have been killed every year on Ireland's roads - north and south - since records began, road safety chiefs have revealed.

In the Republic, 23,948 victims have lost their lives as a result of a collision since 1959.

In Northern Ireland, where officials have recorded road deaths since 1931, there have been 14,839 people killed in car crashes over the past 85 years.

The figures were released ahead of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday.

Transport ministers, police chiefs and road safety campaigners on both sides of the border have issued a joint appeal urging motorists to remember those who died and to take more care on the roads.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Republic's Road Safety Authority, said recent trends are a cause for concern.

"Tragically we have lost more lives on our roads this year compared to last year which is a very worrying development," she said.

"I sincerely hope that all road users will use the day of remembrance for road traffic victims to reflect on their behaviour when using the roads and make a conscious effort to practice good road safety habits."

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said his officers have had to call at the homes of 59 families already this year to deliver devastating news that one of their loved ones has been killed on the roads.

"Many more have received news of serious injuries," he added.

"Behind every statistic, every news report, there are families and friends who have been affected and we must remember them.

"This Sunday provides everyone with an opportunity to remember all those people who have lost their lives on our roads."

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From Belfast Telegraph