Today marks the start of Road Safety Week (15 – 21 November 2021), and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon is warning drivers about the dangers of careless driving.
Minister Mallon said: “As Minister for Infrastructure it is my responsibility to improve road safety. This is a responsibility I take very seriously. I have made it clear that I take a zero tolerance approach to careless behaviour from drivers on our roads. I am steadfast in my commitment to working with our road safety partners the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, to urge all drivers and riders to pay attention when they are behind the wheel to further reduce deaths and serious injuries across Northern Ireland’s roads.
“I understand that over 4 in 10 of all motoring offences here include careless driving. It remains true that one lapse in concentration could ruin your life, or that of another innocent person, forever. As road users and car drivers we all make choices and we all have influence.”
The Minister concluded: “Every one of us has a role to play in preventing deaths and injuries on our roads. Just as with speeding, drink or drug driving, using a mobile phone while driving or failure to wear your seatbelt, if you drive carelessly, you run the very real risk of killing or seriously injuring yourself, your passengers or some other innocent person.”
Assistant Chief Constable Sam Donaldson said: “One wrong decision or one moment’s inattention as a road user can instantly change lives forever. Think about the consequences to yourself and your family if you were involved in a serious collision because you weren’t paying attention. How would you feel if your actions resulted in someone losing their life?
“If everyone slowed down, drove with greater care, did not use a mobile phone when driving, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, and wore a seatbelt, then together we can reduce this preventable carnage on our roads.”
Rosie Byrne, Director of Operations with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, supported the message around careless driving as the theme for this year’s road safety week, saying: “Every day of the year NIAS Crews attend between 10 and 15 Road Traffic Collisions. Each one has the potential to change lives forever or, regrettably, to be life ending. The common theme across many of these collisions seems to be careless behaviour. As the winter deepens, I would appeal to all drivers, and indeed other road users, to exercise caution on our roads and to drive with the utmost care at all times.”
Paddy Gallagher, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: “Sadly our Firefighters witness first-hand the carnage on our roads and the lives completely destroyed as a consequence of road traffic collisions.
“Careless driving has been a factor in many of these collisions and so I would like to remind everyone to reduce your speed, wear your seatbelt, and be mindful of how bad weather might impact driving conditions.”
During Road Safety Week, from 15 to 21 November, DfI with road safety partners, the PSNI, NIFRS and the Ambulance Service, will work to raise awareness of our personal responsibility to behave appropriately, every day, on every journey.