Dean McWhirter Firefighter Control Regional Control Centre, NIFRS HQ, Lisburn Read this articleRead all 10 articles
Excessive speed for the conditions is the number one cause of people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. As Road Safety Week gets underway the Department for Infrastructure is urging drivers and riders to slow down.
Lynda Hurley, Head of Safe and Sustainable Travel Promotion and Outreach in the Department said: “We need to be mindful that speed limits are set as an absolute maximum and that the weather and conditions need to be taken into consideration when driving on any road. Speed does not need to be high to kill or seriously injury.
“Over the last five years, 55 people have lost their lives here due to ‘excessive speed having regard to the conditions’. Many, many more have been seriously injured.
“Road safety is an all year round challenge for every single road user. We all have a personal responsibility to drive or ride in a way that keeps ourselves and others safe. Every 1mph reduction in average speeds causes, on average, a 5% reduction in collisions. This could be the difference between life and death.”
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray said: “Speeding, drink or drug driving and inattention are consistently the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured on roads across Northern Ireland.
“We as a police service will continue to play our part, by robustly enforcing the law to make our roads safer, but everyone shares the responsibility to prevent deaths and injuries. Drivers and riders need to slow down, pay greater attention to their surroundings , NEVER ever drive or ride a motorbike after drinking or taking drugs and whether you are a driver or passenger, always wear a seatbelt. Pedestrians and cyclists also need to be aware of their surroundings and particularly at this time of year, make every effort to been seen by wearing reflective or hi-vis clothing.”
Gerry Lennon, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: “So far this year our Firefighters have attended over 600 road traffic collisions and rescued over 400 people trapped in their vehicles. Sadly they witness first-hand the carnage on our roads and the lives completely destroyed as a consequence of irresponsible road user behaviour and in particular speed.
“We are all responsible for road safety – we all have a responsibility to ‘Share the Road to Zero’ and we all have a responsibility to do all we can to ease the pain, loss and suffering to individuals, families and communities caused by road traffic collisions.
“The reality for members of the emergency services responding to road traffic collisions is that the faster the speed the bigger the mess. Please slow down – one life lost is one too many.”
John McPoland for the Ambulance Service said: “Speed remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. Excessive speed is no accident, it is a decision to drive faster than road and traffic conditions allow. It is also a decision to drive beyond your capabilities. Unfortunately if you have an accident when driving too fast, you are much less likely to walk away from it unscathed. Ambulance crews witness too many incidents where lives are lost and families are devastated as a result of decisions to speed. We ask you all, especially at this time of the year, to slow down and consider others when using the road. It is better to arrive late and alive, than to not arrive at all.”
During Road Safety Week, from 20-26 November, DFI with road safety partners, the PSNI, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service, will work to raise awareness our personal responsibility to behave appropriately, every day, on every journey