Calls for more road safety education as death toll on Northern Ireland's roads rises

There have been calls for more education on road safety after it was revealed that vulnerable road users made up half the increased crash death toll in Northern Ireland in 2023.

According to the latest PSNI figures, 71 people died on the roads last year an increase from 54 in 2022 and 50 in 2021.

The total includes 19 pedestrians, 22 drivers, 10 passengers, two pedal cyclists and 13 motorcyclists, while over 600 people were injured.

Monica Heaney who lost her son Karl in a car crash on the A1 in 2018 has said more education on road safety is needed to make people more aware of the dangers and reduce the number of deaths.

Following the death of her son, Monica got involved with Road Safe NI.

As part of the campaign, she became aware that there was no support for people who have been affected by road traffic collisions.

Monica along with volunteers started a group called 'The Road Ahead' which provides help to those injured and bereaved.

She told UTV that she wants to raise awareness that support is available.

The PSNI described the fatalities as horrific and have made a fresh appeal to the public to heed safety messages.

Road Safe NI has launched its annual campaign which focuses on vulnerable road users as well as the major causation factors in road collisions.

Within the last year, figures show that road deaths happened to an increased number of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and motorcyclists.

The charity is calling on primary schools to enter into the Northern Ireland Road Safety Quiz 2024.

Primary Seven classes are being encouraged to take part and it is hoped it will help children learn about road safety in a fun and engaging way.

Davy Jackson of Road Safe NI, said: “The event has grown significantly over the last two decades in 2023 we had over 220 primary schools register.

"It is vitality important that we educate young road users on key road safety issues. 

"Budget cuts across Northern Ireland have had a significant impact on road safety education in schools and our aim is to involve as many primary schools as possible to ensure that children, who are one of the most vulnerable road users have an opportunity to learn the rules of the road and so they are safe when using the road."

More information on Road Safe NI campaigns and the Northern Ireland Road Safety Quiz 2024 can be found on the Road Safe NI website.

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