Northern Ireland

NI road deaths: Police figures show 74 people were killed in 2015

Police vehicles at the scene of a road traffic collision Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption About 14,780 people have been killed on Northern Ireland's roads since records began in 1931

Seventy-four people were killed on Northern Ireland's roads last year, according to police figures.

The total number of deaths is five fewer than in 2014.

But Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said even one death "is one too many".

Almost half of those who were killed were drivers, while 17 were passengers. Nineteen pedestrians and four motorcyclists also died.

Five of those who lost their lives were children, one more than in the previous year.

Tackle

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said the number of deaths was a "serious concern".

"Every death is tragic and will have brought enormous suffering," he said.

"It is each of us who can save lives, it is each of us who can protect ourselves and others from death and serious injury as we share the road."

Mr Durkan said the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, which is approaching its final stage in passing through the Northern Ireland Assembly, would introduce further steps to tackle "problem areas", such as drink-driving, speeding and driver carelessness.

Priority

ACC Todd said road users must "take personal responsibility" for their actions.

"As we start the New Year, there are families and communities across Northern Ireland coping with the loss of loved ones who were killed in road traffic collisions," he added.

"For others involved in serious collisions, it can mean learning to cope with life-changing injuries.

"Road safety will continue to be a key priority for police, but the reality is that many collisions can be avoided."

Falling

About 14,780 people have been killed on Northern Ireland's roads since records began in 1931.

There were 114 deaths that year, and the numbers generally increased over the years to a peak of 372 deaths in 1972.

Since then, the numbers have gradually decreased, first falling to double figures in 2010.

The figure in 2012 of 48 road fatalities remains the lowest record.

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