Numbers of people hurt on Mid Ulster roads on the rise

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Despite the number of fatalities on Mid Ulster roads dropping, the casualty rate is on the rise in this area.

In 2013, there were 39.48 casualties on our roads per 10,000 population and this rose to 45.37 in the subsequent year.

The figure was still below the Northern Ireland total in both years, but Mid Ulster rose from being the region with the second fewest of the 11 councils to the seventh highest in 2014.

In the most recent year the statistics show that Newry, Mourne and Down, Derry and Strabane, Belfast, and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon all had a lower incidence of casualties on the road.

Mid Ulster had six fatal collisions in 2013 which was the third highest from amongst the existing council areas.

Fermanagh and Omagh had the highest overall with 10 deaths while Mid and East Antrim had nine.

In 2014, this region had three fatal collisions - the second lowest in the country. North Down and Ards had the highest with 13 while Lisburn and Castlereagh had 11. Antrim and Newtownabbey had the fewest deaths on the road in 2014 while Belfast held that honour in 2013.

Across the country the number of fatalities on the road rose from 55 in 2013 to 74 a year later. The number of ‘serious collisions’ dropped from 615 to 577 in a year.

Of those classed as serious, Mid Ulster had 39 collisions in 2013 with 49 people sustaining serious injury.

The next year saw the number of serious collisions drop to 35 with this area with the fewest but one.

Mid Ulster remained eighth on list for the number of seriously injured in 2014 with 46 cases. In total there were 620 casualties from a population of 142,895.

An investigation of two years of road collisions has shown that of the 129 fatal collisions, 74 per cent took place on rural roads where there are speed limits of over 40mph. There was only one fatal crash on a motorway. Alcohol and speed were the biggest cause of crashes.