Alliance Party Youth Affairs spokesperson has said two further young fatalities on Northern Ireland’s rural roads and another in the Border Counties illustrate once again the need to focus road safety programmes on rural roads.
The North Down Councillor stated: “It is five years now since I started the campaign to re-focus policing resources and driver education on rural single carriageways, including changes to the R-plate system and a reduction in speed limit.
“The argument has been won and yet still we await decisive moves by the Government. Meanwhile, the tragic carnage continues.
“Advanced driver education must be further encouraged with a focus on how to drive on rural roads, where the vast majority of casualties occur, rather than on restricting some people to a frankly dangerous 45mph on motorways, our safest roads. Policing resources must be placed on rural single carriageways, not motorways or low-limit dual carriageways where their cameras are seen merely as a revenue-raising exercise.
“Such moves will come too late for the casualties of the latest accidents, to whose families I extend my sympathies. For the rest of the Christmas season, I would call on people please to reflect on the fact that as soon as you step into a car or onto a bike, and as soon as you go near a road, you are in mortal danger.
“People can drive more safely. But Government can also spend the Christmas period reflecting on the need for a vastly better road safety strategy than the nonsense produced in 2001, and on the need to act, not just talk.”