Belfast Telegraph

PSNI urges caution over Easter as number of road deaths doubles

 

Ms Pennington said the PSNI would be liaising with Garda colleagues in the border counties (stock photo)
Ms Pennington said the PSNI would be liaising with Garda colleagues in the border counties (stock photo)
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Eighteen people have died on Northern Ireland's roads so far this year - double the number of the same period in 2018.

The figure emerged as police appealed for motorists to take care on the roads this Easter.

A senior officer warned there was an increased risk of having an accident during the holidays.

Chief Inspector Diane Pennington said: "Tragically, 18 people have already lost their lives on our roads this year - double the number of people compared to the same time period last year.

"I am asking everyone to stop and think about this figure for a moment. These figures are not just statistics. Every time you hear about a fatal or serious collision on the news, there is a family, a circle of friends and a community that are plunged into mourning.

"There are many other people across the country who are having to learn how to cope with life-changing injuries after being involved in serious collisions.

"So, as we approach the Easter holiday period, with more people out and about, it is critically important that everyone focuses on road safety.

"Our statistics indicate that there is an increased risk of collisions during public holidays."

The 18 people killed on Northern Ireland's roads so far this year include seven drivers and six pedestrians.

Four passengers and a motorcyclist have also died.

Ms Pennington said the PSNI would be liaising with Garda colleagues in the border counties.

She said police would be "specifically looking for road users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks".

She added: "With many children and young people enjoying the holidays, road users should also keep an eye out for increased numbers of children using or crossing roads, particularly close to parks and leisure amenities, in addition to junctions and bus stops.

"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 and by wearing highly visible clothing.

"With the ongoing spell of good weather bringing greater numbers of motorcyclists out onto the roads, we're encouraging bikers to ensure their machines and safety equipment are in good working order and 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.

"All road users, particularly those using country roads, need to ensure they drive at an appropriate speed to give them enough time to react to any slower-moving vehicles and pay particular attention to width markings."

"Please take extra care and patience to reduce risk by not making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres."

the number of people killed on Northern Ireland's roads so far this year, a third of them pedestrians

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