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Road safety campaigner urges NI public to slow down as speeding detections up 20%

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Shocked: Christopher Sherrard

Shocked: Christopher Sherrard

Shocked: Christopher Sherrard

A road safety campaigner has urged people who drive over the speed limit to consider the devastation they could cause.

It comes after new figures showed a 20% rise in people caught driving too fast on local roads.

Christopher Sherrard founded the Life After support group for people who have lost loved ones through road traffic collisions after his father died.

He was killed on the Glenshane Road in a crash caused by another man who was later convicted of careless driving.

Mr Sherrard, from Londonderry, said he was stunned by the speed some drivers were detected at in figures for 2019 released by the Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership (NI RSP).

Mr Sherrard said the numbers "beggar belief".

A total of 49,312 speeding detections were made in 2019 - up by 20% on the 2018 figure of 40,969.

The shocking statistics included one driver detected driving at 114mph.

Another was found to have driven through a 30mph zone at 78mph and in once case, a driver was caught speeding through a 40mph area at 87mph.

Mr Sherrard said: "I actually find it very distressing to think that someone - anyone - would think it is acceptable to drive at 114mph on any road.

"There is no way that driver was in control of the car at that speed so the potential to kill some innocent person or themselves is obvious." He continued: "Driving through a built up area with a speed limit of 30mph at almost 80mph is, in my opinion, the absolute height of irresponsibility.

"And I really hope that the person detected doing that speed felt the full rigours of the law.

"We have members in Life After who lost loved ones through road traffic collisions perhaps 15 or 20 years ago and they are still suffering, they are still missing their loved one every day just as we continue to miss my father every day.

"If you take someone's life because of your driving, you have to live with the consequences of that for ever.

"I don't believe anyone who gets into a car and drives over the speed limit intentionally sets out to kill anyone but if they do they are bringing that burden on their own shoulders too.

"I can't imagine it is an easy thing to live with."

While many speeding offences are at the lower end of the scale, Mr Sherrard said even a few miles per hour over the recommended limit could cause devastation.

He added: "It beggars belief that in spite of the very graphic road safety ads we see on our television screens depicting how even a few miles an hour over the speed limit can cause catastrophic damage, so many people think there is nothing wrong with speeding."

Belfast Telegraph