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Speeding offences halved in Northern Ireland, but drivers still taking 'unacceptable risks'

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Overall last year there were 47,065 detections for motoring offences, down 13% on 53,911 in 2018 and a high of 79,796 in 2011 (stock photo)

Overall last year there were 47,065 detections for motoring offences, down 13% on 53,911 in 2018 and a high of 79,796 in 2011 (stock photo)

PA Wire/PA Images

Overall last year there were 47,065 detections for motoring offences, down 13% on 53,911 in 2018 and a high of 79,796 in 2011 (stock photo)

The number of speeding offences detected in Northern Ireland has almost halved within a decade, police figures show.

The PSNI's Motoring Offence Statistics reveal that there were 7,578 detections for speeding offences last year - down from 14,728 in 2011.

These accounted for 16% of all motoring offences in 2019 with 31% of detections last year being made at weekends.

The highest speed recorded last year was 135mph on the A1 dual carriageway, a 70mph stretch of road.

The largest number of speed detections were recorded in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon policing district (1,257), while Ards and North Down recorded the least (200).

Males accounted for 70% of those detected speeding. Those aged 30-49 represented over two-fifths of all people caught speeding, followed by 18-29-year-olds who accounted for a further 34%.

Overall last year there were 47,065 detections for motoring offences, down 13% on 53,911 in 2018 and a high of 79,796 in 2011.

Of 2019's 47,065 detections, 58% resulted in a prosecution referral and a further 25% in endorsable fixed penalty notices.

The number of detections for mobile phone offences has steadily decreased by 62% from 9,908 in 2011 to 3,731 in 2019.

Although the number of detections are down, 52% of drivers still used their phone in some capacity last year while driving.

Males accounted for four-fifths of all those detected for mobile phone offences while over half of those caught were aged 30-49.

Again the largest number of mobile phone offences (580) detected were in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon policing district, while Ards and North Down recorded the fewest (76).

Insurance offences accounted for 7,560 of detections in 2019, a decrease of 14% on the number recorded the previous year.

There were a further 4,158 detections for careless driving offences, 488 fewer than in 2018.

These were highest in Belfast City policing district (861) with Ards and North Down recording the fewest detections (175).

Males accounted for three-quarters of careless driving offences, while 37% of detections were among 30-49-year-olds.

Drink or drug driving offences increased by 2% to 3,005 when compared with 2018.

PSNI Chief Inspector Diane Pennington said too many people are still taking unacceptable risks on our roads, whether speeding, not paying enough attention, using mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts and driving while uninsured.

"Despite the downward trend of fewer people being killed on our roads over the last 10 years, inappropriate speed for the conditions remains one of the main causes of the most serious collisions in which people are killed and seriously injured," she said.

"Removing excess speed from the road safety equation should be the easiest thing that every road user can do.

"If we all stop speeding, more people live. If we all stop speeding, fewer people die and fewer people have to contend with life changing injuries.

"Considering that drink and drug driving is consistently one of the principal causational factors of the most serious collisions in which people are killed and injured, it is particularly disappointing that we have seen a rise in these detection figures," the chief inspector added.

Belfast Telegraph