East Derry Candidate Doctor Sean McNicholl stated:

“As Road Safety Week (18 – 24 November 2019) gets underway all road users are reminded of the hazards we face when travelling on our rural roads. A total of 46 people have lost their lives on the road this year. This compares to 51 at the same time last year and 57 for 2017.
“The Department for Infrastructure is collaborating with road safety partners in the emergency services and the Young Farmers’ Clubs to urge everyone to be aware of the particular vulnerabilities we all face when we travel.

“Whether we are walking, cycling or driving, we need to be mindful that our country roads, while beautiful, do present hidden dangers. Rural roads may seem safe due to their lower traffic flow, but they are deadlier than we think. Higher speeds, hidden dips, twisty and damaged roads reduce the distance that drivers can see ahead giving less time to react and resulting in more severe impacts.

“At this time of year with trees shedding their leaves combined with heavy rain, skid risks will increase and drivers should factor that in to their driving behaviours to suit the conditions. We should all make sure that, particularly in the run up to Christmas, that nothing we do will leave a family mourning the loss of, or serious injury to, a loved one.

Road Safety Week is an extremely important campaign for highlighting the dangers for both drivers and those walking on roads. Many rural communities have been left devastated by the loss of lives as a result of serious collisions.

“As a medical professional I know only too well the horrendous outcomes caused by road collisions, making this initiative extremely important as it raises awareness of the potential lethal outcome that a momentary loss of concentration can cause.”