Road fatalities have more than doubled in the police command area covering Cookstown and Dungannon, it has been revealed.
A multi-agency group, known as the Joint Road Safety Forum, has been put together by the four PCSP’s from Cookstown, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh and Omagh with invited representatives from PSNI, NIFRS and other concerned statutory agencies also joining.
The Joint Road Safety Forum aims to promote awareness of road safety issues in a bid to reduce the numbers of road deaths and casualities on our roads.
PSNI Chief Inspector Sue Ann Steen said: “The policing area of F district, which includes Cookstown, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh and Omagh, has seen 15 lives lost as a result of road traffic collisions, this year to date*, compared with seven for the same period last year*.
“The pain of avoidable deaths such as those on our roads touches family, friends and communities right across Cookstown, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh and Omagh and beyond.
“Each victim represents a tragic loss for individual families and friends.
“It is important that motorists think about the consequences of being involved in a serious collision. How would you feel if your actions resulted in you or one of your family being paralysed? How would you feel if some innocent person was killed?
“I welcome this road safety forum and assure the community that we are all committed to addressing the issue of road safety and we will continue to work with our community in an effort to educate drivers, passengers and pedestrians on road safety issues so that together we help save more lives and reduce the numbers of deaths on our roads.
“I do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads.
“If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wore a seatbelt and drove with greater care and attention then together we can reduce this preventable carnage on our roads.”
Eamon Gallagher, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said they had attended over 100 serious crashes in 2013.
“We welcome the opportunity to play a role in this multi-agency road safety partnership to address the issue of road safety and improve road user behaviour in the local area,” he said.
“We have attended 109 road traffic collisions across Fermanagh, Cookstown and Omagh Districts this year and unfortunately our Firefighters, along with our colleagues in the Emergency Services, have witnessed all too often the carnage on our roads and the lives completely destroyed caused by irresponsible driver behaviour such as drink driving, inattention and not wearing a seatbelt.
“We fully support this joint road safety partnership to reduce the number of road traffic collisions occurring and the number of people killed and seriously injured as a result.”
Voicing their concern about the recent road death figures, members of Cookstown, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh and Omagh PCSPs, said that, unfortunately, road traffic collisions are all too-often occurrences on our roads.
“Every death on our roads is one too many and we, as PCSPs, aim to improve road safety for all road users through our on-going PCSP Action Plan.”