We need to make road safety a part of growing up, growing old and growing wise
Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan, who is the Vice Chairperson of the Assembly All Party Road Safety working group, whilst welcoming the fact that 2007 had seen the lowest deaths on the roads in the north in 60 years, (112 being equal with the 1947 figures) has said that statistics matter little to the families and friends of those who had lost their lives.
Mr Boylan said:
"Any life lost on our roads is one death too many. The most recent spate of deaths should once again make us all stop and think about the vast numbers of people killed on our roads and in our country and across the world. Globally, 3,000 people are killed every day and 100,000 more are injured.
"Sinn Féin are determined to ensure that Road Safety is a high priority.
"We need to make road safety a part of growing up, growing old and growing wise.
"The Assembly All Party Road Safety working group can bring new thinking and provide a new platform for those affected by the carnage on our roads.
"The dreadful sequence of accidents over the Christmas weekend, which saw multiple deaths in a few hours, must encourage us to redouble our efforts to eradicate the avoidable loss of lives on our roads. Those of us who are taking part on this working group have given a commitment to work with all departments, bodies and individuals who can help to stop road deaths and serious injuries.
"However we need to do much more. We need to recognise that road deaths are avoidable.
"Sinn Fein believe that not only is there a requirement to work together on this island to tackle this crisis, but that we need to work towards integration of the Road Safety Council and the Road Safety Authority, to deal with the issue of road safety on an all-Ireland basis. Every year hundreds of people are killed on Irish roads and the fact is that many of these deaths are preventable if we seriously deal with issues such as inadequate roads, the culture of speed, drink and drug driving and driver education.
"We have a collective responsibility to ensure the safety of all who use our roads. I am fully committed to keeping this issue firmly in the spotlight." ENDS