Belfast Telegraph

PSNI make no excuses for trying to save people's lives

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, says the PSNI’s Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble

Seven deaths only halfway through April is horrendous. I can't recall a week as bad as the one we've just seen in terms of road death numbers.

Once again we are appealing to all road-users to take responsibility for making our highways a safer place.

It has been another tragic weekend for families across Northern Ireland who have lost loved ones as a result of road traffic collisions.

Responsibility for road safety is one that we all share. Considering that many, if not the majority, of these deaths are caused by collisions that could have been avoided, it's an appalling waste of life.

To date this year, 19 people have been killed on our roads, and this includes the three tragic accidents over this weekend. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased at this time.

Inattention, speeding, excessive speed for the road conditions and drink or drug-driving are consistently the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured.

Additional police resources have been on the roads across Northern Ireland this week and have been liaising closely with our An Garda Siochana traffic corps colleagues in the border counties, specifically looking for road-users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks.

Pedestrians must pay attention to their environment, whether that means not getting distracted by friends or mobile devices, or being especially careful when walking on country roads by walking against the traffic flow or by wearing highly visible clothing.

With the better weather we are also particularly mindful of more motorcyclists taking to the roads, so we're encouraging bikers to ensure their motorcycles and safety equipment are in good working order, that they ride defensively.

In addition, drivers need to be alert to the presence of motorcyclists using the road network, particularly when emerging from and turning into junctions.

Cyclists also need to remember they are among the most vulnerable road-users, so we recommend wearing a helmet, always using front and rear lights, not listening to music players and keeping aware of their surroundings.

At the same time, drivers must be aware of cyclists, paying particular care at junctions, traffic lights, when opening vehicle doors after parking. Most importantly, drivers need to give cyclists enough room when overtaking.

Of course our weather is changeable and motorists should slow down, use dipped headlights, keep a safe distance from the car in front and exercise caution when driving in adverse weather conditions.

Police make no excuse for robustly enforcing the law to make Northern Ireland's roads safer. All road-users must share the responsibility to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads.

All we ask is that drivers slow down, do not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt, drive with greater care and attention and don't use mobile phones while driving.

Chris Noble is the PSNI Assistant Chief Constable of Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph


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