Nine messages in total, from each of our counties will serve as a reminder for us all to take care on the roads.
Covid-19 has meant that many of the activities normally associated with Road Safety Week have been cancelled, however Ulster GAA along with our partners Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) are keen to remind us that despite 2020 being a year of lock-down and restrictions, death and serious injury on our roads has been as prevalent as ever this year.
Statistics show that 56 people were killed on our roads between 2019-2020, five less than last year. There have also been 5,623 casualties (NISRA 2019, Police Recorded Injury Road Traffic Collisions and Casualties Northern Ireland Annual Report covering the period 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020). These statistics show that rates of death and serious injury remain similar over recent years.
‘Excessive speed’ along with ‘wrong course/position’ and ‘inattention or attention diverted” were the most common causes for death and serious injury on our roads this year. This is comparable to other years. Ulster GAA have linked with BRAKE – a road safety charity to focus our attention on this very important issue. The theme for this year’s Road Safety Week is No Need to Speed.
The formula is simple: the higher the speed, the longer the stopping distance, the harder the crash and the greater the risk of death and injury. No Need to Speed is a reminder to everyone of how the speed at which they travel affects other people. Every time we’re on the road we need to consider what speed is appropriate to keep ourselves and others safe.
Speed also matters for our health and wellbeing. Slower traffic can help make places feel more welcoming for the people who live, work and play in them. This can mean more people choosing to walk and cycle to get around and more people interacting with each other on the street, creating fitter, healthier and happier communities.
Gerry Lennon, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, said:
“NIFRS attend approximately 60% of fatal road traffic collisions that occur in Northern Ireland each year. Unfortunately, Firefighters and our colleagues in other emergency services witness all too often the lives destroyed, in particular among the 16 – 24 year old age groups, as a consequence of irresponsible road user behaviour.
“We hope that by raising awareness of the dangers of speeding during Road Safety Week it will help keep people safer on our roads and reduce the number of road traffic collisions attended by the emergency services.”
Our Live to Play social media campaign reminds us all of the need to reduce our speed, and reminds us of the other common behaviours which cause death and serious injury on our roads. Keep an eye out for our Live to Play Ambassadors on social media this week, and heed their messages.
Clubs, counties and individuals are encouraged to interact with the videos, liking, sharing and retweeting in order to get the messages out there. We are all reminded that we must take responsibility for our own actions on the road.