Plea for caution after weekend of road tragedies in Mid Ulster

Road Traffic Collision - Moneymore Road - Cookstown

Road Traffic Collision - Moneymore Road - Cookstown

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A senior police office has urged all road users to take a look at their own behaviour on the road in the wake of one of the most devastating weekends in Mid Ulster.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble told the Mail that there had to be a change of mindset in all road users if the weekend of carnage is not to be repeated.

Janye Burnside and Bernie McNicholl

Janye Burnside and Bernie McNicholl

“From our point of view we have had three collisions resulting in fatalities . That makes it seven deaths and we are only halfway through April. It is horrendous,” said Chief Constable Noble

“The headline is that we have had nineteen killed in our roads in 2015. We only have seventeen last year.

“Each accident happened in unique circumstances: all took place in different vehicles, and occurred in differnet locations at different times of the day.

Three men arrested and released over fatal crash on Moneymore to Cookstown road
“The key message is that this could happen to you. People tend to see this as happening to other families rather than to them.

Each accident happened in unique circumstances: all took place in different vehicles, and occurred in differnet locations at different times of the day

“People have to take personal responsibility about how they conduct themselves on the road. The solution doesn’t lie with the police - we are not going to ‘arrest’ our way out of this problem.

“By the time we are on the scene the damage has already been done. We are frustrated that people are not getting the message about excess speed, inattention and the influence of drink and drugs upon driving.

“The critical thing that I can do is pass on my sympathies and my condolences to the families, because the impact for them will stretch far beyond this particular weekend.

“Speed remains the number one cause of fatal collisions so we really need people to understand that by slowing down and altering their speed to suit the conditions of the road they can potentially save a life.

“We all, as road users, have to take responsibility for ourselves and other road users. We want to see zero deaths on our roads. So I urge all drivers to slow down. You can never control the consequences when you speed.

“Drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists to pay more attention, respect other road users, and to take personal responsibility for their own safety.

“Before you get behind the wheel of a car today, get on your bicycle or motorcycle, or put on your running shoes, stop and think!

“Our message is simple - All road users need to take responsibility for their actions. Slow down, wear a seatbelt, pay greater attention to your surroundings, leave your mobile phone alone and never drive or get on a bike after drinking or taking drugs.”