Department for Infrastructure can no longer afford road safety advertisements

They were some of the hardest hitting television adverts ever broadcast in Northern Ireland.

Road safety campaigns graphically highlighting the potentially fatal consequences of speeding, drink driving and a host of other motoring offences.

Run by the Department for Infrastructure, the campaigns were designed to help reduce road fatalities.

But last year they disappeared from our TV screens and haven’t returned.

The Department’s road safety budget was slashed from nearly £1.5 million in 2021 to zero in 2022.

In a statement, the Department told UTV that’s because of budget constraints.

A spokesperson said 95% of resources are committed to front line service and there is no budget for road safety advertising campaigns.

The ads have been cut at a time when the number of people killed on Northern Ireland's roads is rising.

So far in 2023, 48 people have died compared to 38 people during the same period last year.

Christopher Sherrard from Life After, a local charity that looks after families left bereaved by road deaths, fears cutting the ads puts lives at risk.

“People are not being educated, there will be more serious crashes and more fatalities.

"The more fatalities that there are, the more families will need support from charities like Life After.”

Life After officially opened its first permanent support hub in Londonderry.

The Charity was founded six years ago by bereaved families to provide emotional support to others who have lost loved ones in road traffic accidents.

They offer counselling shortly after fatal collisions and provide continuous support to grief stricken families.

Life After has a presence right across Northern Ireland and is already helping relatives of more than 20 people killed this year

Counsellor Debbie Mullan says they provide services that statutory agencies won’t pay for.

“Unfortunately the community and voluntary sector has to fill in the gaps because support isn’t there.

"Everything is under pressure. But at least we can deliver services for those families. We are just families helping families.”

Life After can be contacted through their Facebook site or via email life.after2021@outlook.com

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