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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Appeal to share our roads responsibly as yearly road fatalities continue to rise in NI

Police accident sign on road at nighttime

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is reminding everyone of our shared responsibility in 2024 to safeguard our own safety and that of others, however we choose to travel on our roads.


The release of provisional figures today by the PSNI show that 69 people died in road tragedies during 2023.


Reflecting on the loss of life over the year, Dr Denis McMahon, DfI Permanent Secretary said: 


“In 2023, 69 people have had their lives cut short and hundreds more have been seriously injured on our roads. I wish to offer my sincere sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones and to those who endure life-changing injuries through road collisions.



“Evidence shows that most road deaths are avoidable, as more than nine in ten deaths and serious injuries are due to human error. We all share the responsibility for road safety. So if you are driving, slow down; pay attention and look out for other road users; leave the mobile phone alone; always wear a seatbelt and NEVER ever drink or take drugs and drive.”


Continuing, Dr McMahon said:


“What is particularly shocking this year is the high number of deaths of some of the most vulnerable road users - motorcyclists and pedestrians. 13 motorcyclists and 19 pedestrians have died on our roads this year, which accounts for over 46% of road deaths this year.


“If you are a driver help protect more vulnerable road users by slowing down and paying attention. If you are walking please always be aware of your surroundings and if walking at night please ensure you can be seen. And if you are a cyclist or motorcyclist, please ensure you put your safety first. By each and every road user taking personal responsibility, we are likely to see a reduction in the number of people being killed or seriously injured.



“As we start a new year, please resolve to help prevent collisions and save lives by slowing down and paying attention.”


The Department is actively committed to improving safety on our roads and continue to work closely with our road safety partners in the PSNI, the Fire and Rescue Service, the Ambulance Service and many other agencies to deliver a programme of road safety education, engineering and enforcement initiatives.


Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Operational Support Department said:


"Reducing deaths and serious injury on our roads is a priority for us and we hope that our new initiative which highlights that people who sadly die on our roads are more than just a statistic, will offer people the guidance and information they need to ensure they always reach their destination safely.



"This number is simply horrific and I appeal to all road users to learn about the steps they can take to keep themselves and others safe on our roads.“As well as deaths, many people have suffered serious and life-changing injuries, demonstrating that as a society, road safety is something that needs to be taken more seriously.


“The responsibility for making our roads a safer place is one that we ALL share, remember the ‘Fatal Five’ - don’t drink or take drugs and drive; slow down; don’t be careless; always wear your seat belt and never use your mobile phone whilst driving.”


• Provisional figures released today by PSNI show that in 2023 there were 69 deaths on roads in Northern Ireland as a result of road traffic collisions (up to 11.59pm on 28/12/2023).



This compares to a total of 55 deaths for the full year of 2022 and 50 in 2021. 


• There have been 679 people seriously injured on our roads from 1st January to 31 October 2023.   


This compares to 762 people for the same period in 2022, a decrease of 83 people. A final total for 2023 will not be confirmed by PSNI until spring 2024.


• The highest monthly death toll across the year was May where 14 people died on our roads.


• Road user Fatalities in 2023, by category, are as follows:


Pedestrian 19

Driver 22

Passenger 10

Pedal Cyclist 2

Motorcyclist 13

Pillion Passenger 0

Other Road User 3


TOTAL 69



There were three child (under 16) fatalities recorded in 2023, the same as in both 2022 and 2021.

• For the period January to October 2023 single vehicle collisions accounted for 19% of fatalities and 26% of people seriously injured.


To pledge to share the road to zero road deaths, visit www.sharetheroadtozero.com


The Highway Code is available to download free here https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/highway-code-downloadable-version 

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