Latest Road Deaths reinforces concerns of MLA
Following the death of two motor cyclists over the weekend, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Road Safety, Newry and Armagh MLA, Cathal Boylan has raised concerns that year to date figures show that while deaths from Road Traffic Accidents seem to be on a continuing downward trend in the 26 Counties, they are rising in the North.
‘When one looks at the statistics, it can be clearly seen that there has been a rise in fatalities from 2007 and 2008 for the same period. Already we have seen 84 deaths on the North’s roads. Considering that the months from October through to December usually return pretty bleak figures, it is possible that we will see an overall increase for the year.’
‘Whilst there does seem to a noticeable reduction of deaths in urban areas, unfortunately fatalities in rural areas continue to rise. From 50 and 51 in 2007 and 2008 respectively, to a total of 69 so far this year. In other words 82% of the people who have died on our roads so far this year have been killed in rural areas. This highlights a serious problem all of us have to address, not only the Assembly bodies and the PSNI, but communities, individuals and schools. The message must be continually reinforced that speed, drink and drug driving and driving without due care and attention can lead to death and serious injury for everyone who gets behind a wheel, a passenger in a vehicle or indeed a pedestrian on our roads.’
The Assembly member concluded;
‘Meanwhile, in the 26 Counties, figures for the same period show a marked decrease, up to the end of August, down by sixty from 2007 and thirty-four in 2008. It once again emphasises the need for an all island approach to road safety. On a land mass the size of Ireland, it makes sense to have a single approach to this very serious issue, I hope progress will be made to have such an approach in the near future. I also hope the recent consultation on the Drink Driving limits will go some way in addressing that particular problem, and I look forward to the review of the Road Safety Strategy which will be forthcoming.’