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"57 families have had to identify the body of the person they love"

Northern Ireland’s Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin made an emotional appeal to people to take care on the roads as deaths have already reached last year’s total.
Sep 14th 2014, 5:46 PM 10,827 8

THE POLICE SERVICE of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has urged the public to “wake up to road safety” after the 57th death this year.

The road death numbers so far this year have now reached the total of last year’s deaths. Speaking today, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin questioned whether the “real meaning” of road deaths gets lost because we talk a lot about statistics.

“Does everyone understand that when we talk about the 57th road death this year we are talking about the loss of a life?,” he asked.

We are talking about 57 families who have lost a parent, a sibling, a child. 57 families who have received that knock on the door from police or have been told by medical staff that their loved one is no longer alive.

57 families who have had to identify the body of the person they love.

57 families who have planned a funeral service and 57 families who are still grieving.

“The carnage on our roads has to stop,” he added. “And the responsibility lies with each and every one of us to ensure we are not risking our own lives or the lives of others. This means slowing down, wearing our seatbelts, paying full attention to the road and never driving after drinking alcohol.”

In the most recent incident, a 20-year-old man died after a motorcycle and a car collided on the Monagh Road in Belfast yesterday evening.

“None of us are immune to the dangers of the road so listen to what I’m saying,” commented Martin. “Listen when someone tells you to ‘drive safe’. It’s not a throwaway remark. It can be the difference between coming home safe and well or not coming home at all.”

Read: Police officer injured in Belfast road crash>

WATCH: Hard-hitting road safety ad shows one man’s final journey>

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Michelle Hennessy

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