55 lives lost on Northern Ireland’s roads in 2018

Fifty-five lives were lost on NI's roads in the last year. Credit: Presseye

Fifty-five people were killed on Northern Ireland’s roads in 2018, prompting safety pleas from emergency responders who witness the carnage.

The Fire & Rescue Service has said its crews attended 776 road traffic collisions – up from 736 the previous year – and rescued 50 people.

The number of road deaths has fallen by eight, from 63 in 2017.

However, the message from the emergency services is still that “one death is one too many”.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “Despite the continuing downward trend and overall reduction in the number of people killed on our roads, one death is one too many.

“Many more people are fighting to recover or are learning to cope with life changing injuries.

“There is also a small group of people whose actions on the roads have caused death or serious injury.

"They not only have to live and cope with this knowledge, they may also be facing prosecution which could ultimately lead to imprisonment.”

NIFRS Group Commander Gerry Lennon said: “Unfortunately in 2018 our firefighters, along with our colleagues in the emergency services, witnessed all too often the carnage on our roads and the lives completely destroyed by irresponsible road user behaviour.

“We must do all we can to ease the pain, loss and suffering to individuals, families and communities caused by road traffic collisions.”

He added: “We are all responsible for road safety – we all have a responsibility to ‘Share the Road to Zero’ and we simply must all aspire towards zero road deaths in the year ahead.”

Department for Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Katrina Godfrey added: “In 2018, road deaths have fallen for the fourth consecutive year - but we need to continue to work together to make 2019 a better year on our roads.

“Too many people are still dying needlessly, but road deaths are preventable.

“Regrettably, the evidence shows that more than nine in 10 deaths and serious injuries on our roads are due to human error - caused by poor road user behaviour.”