Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Road Safety - Major Public Concern

1 March, 2007

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Regional Development, Foyle Assembly election candidate Raymond McCartney has again expressed his disappointment at the failure of all those with a political responsibility to deliver an effective programme to deal with the totally unnecessary loss of life on our roads.

Mr McCartney made his appeal in response to the rising loss of life in the region over the past number of days.

Mr McCartney was speaking ahead of attending an event at Millennium Forum hosted by the Emergency Services in their proactive campaign to raise the issue of roads safety. In recent days the Sinn Féin candidate has met with Fire Services to assist in ways of ensuring that their work goes unhampered and free from unwarranted attacks. He also praised the vital work of key services in ensuring lives were saved and the pressurised and stressful conditions in which emergency personnel find themselves in when faced with road accidents.

McCartney said:

"Sinn Féin have been to fore in raising the issue of road safety. This issue has affected many homes and all too often we are told that the loss of loved one's could have been avoided. To save lives what is required is a complete review of how we have looked at road safety, to establish the correct and robust strategy to deal with protecting all road users across the island, to upgrade our roads encourage and develop all modes of transport, to reduce the over reliance on the car and firstly to view road deaths and injury as a major public safety issue.

"One initiative which Sinn Féin have called for in the first instance has been to call a road safety summit with all the Government, statutory and campaigning stakeholders together to set in a place a programme to reverse the daily tragic news stories of loss of life on our roads.

"Sinn Féin has met with key organisations this year to explore the way forward. What has been a common thread in all our deliberations is the need to educate and re-educate road users and to reprogramme thinking within Government departments, North and South, to do something about this situation.

"I am appealing to all road users to think about how they travel and more importantly if there is another means of getting from one place to another, whether for work or pleasure to use public transport where possible or leave in good time so as not to speed and become stressed when driving.

"With collective will this problem can be tackled. The onus is on all of us to do so." ENDS

Notes for editors

In 2005-6, there were 5098 collision on the roads in the Six Counties, 134 people were killed, a further 1115 seriously injured. In total there were 8377

In the 26 Counties 368 people were killed in 2005/6.

In 2007 so far - 49 people have been killed in 47 collisions so far this year

Under 16 - stats (6 counties)
2005/6 - 701 collisions
16 killed
127 seriously injured
895 - Causalities

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