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Heart-rending surge as road deaths in Northern Ireland almost double in two years

Road deaths in Northern Ireland have almost doubled in the past two years, according to official PSNI statistics.

Statistics released yesterday showed that while 48 people died on the roads in 2012 - the grim toll for 2014 has already reached 79.

Thirty-one drivers, 13 passengers, 18 pedestrians 13 motorcyclists, three cyclists, and one pillion passenger have died as a result of road accidents in 2014.

Yesterday's collision in Lisburn has not yet been included in this year's statistics and may not be, as it did not happen on a public road.

On Boxing Day, solicitor Daniel Morris was killed in a one-vehicle crash between Fivemiletown and Brookeborough. The father-of-four was buried at St Mary's Church, Arney, yesterday.

Just two days later, on Sunday December 28, a woman died in a crash on Boa Island Road, also in Fermanagh. Her name has not been released by police. She was the 79th person to die on the roads in 2014.

PSNI Inspector Robert McGowan is appealing for witnesses to call the collision investigation unit in Steeple on 101.

The tragic tally of death on our roads has declined over the last 40 years, according to the PSNI.

The worst year on record was 1972, with 355 people losing their lives.

In contrast, in 1931 - the first year for which official statistics are available - saw 114 people die in road traffic collisions.

The next spike in the road death toll came in 1941, when 275 people lost their lives.

It was not until the early days of the Troubles in 1971 that the annual total passed the 300 mark, with official statistics recording 304 fatalities on our roads.

Belfast Telegraph