Reduced road death figures welcome but much work remains to be done - Bairbre de Brún
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the latest reduced figures on road deaths in the north but cautioned that much more can be done to minimise the number of people killed on the roads. Ms de Brún said she hoped that 2006 would see a further reduction in fatality figures.
It has emerged that in 2005 there were a total of 136 deaths, the smallest number of road deaths since 1952 when 133 people were killed.
Speaking today Ms de Brún said:
"The final figures for road deaths in 2005 have shown that 136 people died as a result of accidents on the road ˆ that is 136 people too many. The figures still show the extent of heartache caused by road traffic accidents here on an ongoing basis. However the news that this is the smallest number of road fatalities since 1952 must be welcomed.
"Road safety must continue to be a major priority for the various agencies in 2006. The fact that so many young people are involved in accidents indicates that we need to address the problem from an educational point of view. All young people before leaving school should be fully versed in the rules of the road from the perspectives of a pedestrian, a cyclist and a motorist and where possible be given practical tuition. Awareness-raising around the dangers of drink-driving and excessive speed appear to have had some impact and must also continue.
"It is also essential that specific emphasis is placed on known accident black spot areas where significant numbers of accidents and particularly those involving fatalities occur. This means increasing visibility, reducing speed limits accordingly and taking all other appropriate measures to ensure safety for road users and pedestrians.
"It is imperative that both departments with responsibility for transport on the island honour the Common Chapter commitments to deliver an All Ireland Development plan vis-à-vis road safety and improvements in road infrastructure." ENDS