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File image of a PSNI road closure following a serious collision Alamy Stock Photo
Road Deaths

Almost half of road deaths in Northern Ireland last year were among vulnerable road users

Seventy people died on Northern Ireland’s roads in 2023, up from 54 in 2022 and 50 in 2020.

CONCERN HAS BEEN expressed after vulnerable road users made up half the increased crash death toll in Northern Ireland.

Some 71 people died on the roads in the region in 2023, an increase from 54 in 2022 and 50 in 2021.

The total includes 19 pedestrians, 22 drivers, 10 passengers, two pedal cyclists and 13 motorcyclists, according to PSNI figures.

The deaths included three close to Christmas, with pedestrian Darren Rooney killed in Co Down on Friday 29 December, while an 18-year-old man died following a collision in north Belfast on 22 December, and Lydia Ross, 21, died in Co Derry after a crash on Thursday 28 December.

lydia-ross-death Family photo issued by the PSNI of Lydia Ross, 21, who died following a collision in Co Derry. PA PA

The Department for Infrastructure and PSNI have issued a joint safety appeal urging all road users to share the responsibility for road safety in 2024.

The department’s permanent secretary Dr Denis McMahon said 69 people had had their lives cut short by 28 December, while hundreds more were seriously injured on the 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,” he said.

“Evidence shows that most road deaths are avoidable, as more than nine in 10 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.

“What is particularly shocking this year is the high number of deaths of some of the most vulnerable road users – motorcyclists and pedestrians.

“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.”

PSNI Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson said reducing road deaths and injuries is a priority.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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