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Lowest road deaths on record

Thursday, 3 January 2008

112 people were killed on the roads of Northern Ireland during 2007 according to provisional figures released today. This is 14 less than in 2006.

DOE Minister Arlene Foster said: “Christmas and New Year celebrations have come and gone once again and it’s now time to reflect on the past year and consider improvements in 2008. The figures released today mirror the figure for 1947 which was the lowest total since records began in 1931.

"While 2007 has been an important milestone for road safety in Northern Ireland, it is also a very poignant one for families and friends who lost loved ones. They will derive little comfort from this news. Road safety is one of my greatest priorities and I am committed to ensuring that everything possible is done to prevent further deaths and injuries during 2008.

"As we enter another new year many people will be making new resolutions, many of them aimed at improving their personal health. I would appeal to all drivers to resolve to improve not only their own health but the health of others by acting responsibly at all times. That involves not exceeding speed limits, abstaining from driving if they have taken any alcohol, driving defensively and paying attention at all times, switching off all mobile phones before driving and wearing a seat belt, however short the journey.

"This time next year, with your cooperation and assistance, I hope to report again the lowest number of road deaths since records began.”

Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner, Head of the Police Service’s Operational Support Department added: “While fewer people lost their lives in road traffic collisions on roads in Northern Ireland last year, we can never be complacent on this issue. The vast majority of road traffic collisions are preventable, so we make absolutely no apology for adopting a robust approach to enforcement.

“It is disappointing that despite countless high profile road safety operations and public awareness campaigns, a minority of drivers still continue to disregard the road traffic laws.

“We all have a role to play in preventing deaths and injuries on our roads. If you speed, take drink or drugs and drive, fail to wear your seatbelt, drive carelessly or dangerously, you will be caught and prosecuted,” he concluded.

Notes to Editors:

For further information contact: DOE Press Office Tel: 028 9054 0014 or Email press.office@doeni.gov.uk

PSNI Christopher Carson at the Police Public Relations office on 028 9025 9156 / 07825 013 918.