Belfast Telegraph

55 Northern Ireland road deaths in 2019 one of lowest figures on record

The scene of the accident at Brownhill Link Road in Irvinestown
The scene of the accident at Brownhill Link Road in Irvinestown
The Air Ambulance at the scene
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The death of a pedestrian in Co Fermanagh yesterday morning means the number of people killed on Northern Ireland's roads in 2019 was 55.

Elaine Patricia McGarrity (54) died after being struck by a pick-up truck in Irvinestown.

The 22-year-old male driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody.

According to provisional figures from the PSNI, a total of 55 people died on our roads last year.

This is the joint second-lowest figure on record after 48 fatalities were recorded in 2012.

A total of 55 people also lost their lives on the roads in 2018 and 2010.

The latest figure follows a downward trend in recent years since 79 road deaths were recorded in 2014.

A breakdown of the statistics shows those who died were 26 drivers, 16 pedestrians, eight passengers, three motorcyclists and two pedal cyclists.

This included one child under 16, two fewer than in 2018 and three fewer than in 2017.

However, serious injuries increased on the roads in 2019, with 639 people hurt by October 31, which is 35 more than at the same time in 2018.

The PSNI will not confirm the total figures for serious injuries in 2019 until spring.

Road fatalities in December included grandmother Mona Maye (69) from Dungannon, who died in a two-vehicle crash on the M1 on the evening of December 23.

Pedestrian Joseph Daly was also killed the day before after a three-car collision in Poyntzpass.

Co Tyrone football coach Noel Sweeney (57) was driving a van on Trewmount Road in the Moy on December 18 when he was killed in a collision involving a fallen tree and three vehicles.

In the early hours of December 15 pedestrian Ben Lowry (20) from Mossley was killed when he was involved in a collision with a car on the Westlink.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "Despite the historical downward trend, far too many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads every year.

"The simple reality is that many collisions can be avoided. Not paying full attention, poor positioning on the road, excess speed for the conditions and people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remain the most common causes of the most serious collisions which kill and injure people."

Katrina Godfrey, permanent secretary for the Department for Infrastructure, offered her condolences to those who have lost loved ones or endured injury, and said the falling road deaths "mask the simple truth" that every collision has life-long consequences for families.

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