Police summer road safety plea
With 25 people killed on road across Northern Ireland to date this year, police are appealing for the public to keep road safety at the forefront of their minds.
Chief Inspector Diane Pennington said: “Police officers have already visited the homes of 25 people to deliver the worst possible news to their families.
“We are asking everyone to stop and think about this figure for a moment.
“These figures are not just statistics. Every time you hear about a fatal or serious collision on the news, there is a family, a circle of friends, a community plunged into mourning, or people having to learn how to cope with life changing injuries.
“Over the coming weeks, we will have police resources on the roads across Northern Ireland and will be using legislation first introduced in November 2016, which gives us powers to carry out breath tests at authorised vehicle checkpoints.
“We will also be liaising with our An Garda Síochána Traffic Corps colleagues in the border counties, specifically looking for road users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks.
“With many school children and young people enjoying the holidays, road users should also keep an eye out for increased numbers of children using or crossing roads, particularly close to parks and leisure amenities, in addition to junctions and bus stops.
“Pedestrians must pay attention to their environment, whether that means not getting distracted by friends or mobile devices, or being especially careful when walking on country roads by walking against the traffic flow and by wearing highly visible clothing.
“With the ongoing spell of good weather brining greater numbers of motorcyclists out onto the roads, we’re encouraging bikers to ensure their machines and safety equipment are in good working order and that they ride defensively. In addition, drivers need to be alert to the presence of motorcyclists using the road network, particularly when emerging from and turning into junctions.
“Over the last week, a number of agricultural vehicles have been involved in serious collisions, so again, we are advising all road users to exercise great care. Those using agricultural vehicles must use seatbelts where fitted, ensure mirrors are clear, signals are clean and used before manoeuvring and be aware of other road users .
“All other road users, particularly those using country roads, need to ensure they drive at an appropriate speed to give them enough time to react to any slower moving agricultural vehicles, pay particular attention to width markings and any signals. Please take extra care and patience to reduce risk by not making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.”
Police are also advising anyone taking their vehicle on any holiday trips to ensure that their vehicle is safe.
Chief Inspector Pennington continued: “Before you set off on any driving trips, always make sure you are well rested and are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and, plan your route and identify opportunities to take a break during your journey.
“Make sure your vehicle tyres are in good, legal condition, with the correct pressures, that you have enough fuel and that you’ve topped up all the fluid levels - you don’t want a breakdown or worse yet, a tyre blowing out. Do not overload your vehicle and please also remember to check the safety of any trailers or caravans and to abide by any speed restrictions for your vehicle/towing outfit, or any driving license entitlements.
“We all share the responsibility to prevent deaths and serious injuries on our roads - do not drive after drinking or taking drugs, drive with greater care and attention and never use mobile phones while driving,” Chief Inspector Pennington concluded.