Road deaths in Northern Ireland second lowest since records began

Flowers left at the scene of the fatal road traffic collision on the Movilla Road in Newtownards where three year-old Kai Corkum lost his life last month
Flowers left at the scene of the fatal road traffic collision on the Movilla Road in Newtownards where three year-old Kai Corkum lost his life last month

The number of road deaths in Northern Ireland in the past 12 months has fallen for the fourth consecutive year.

The release of provisional statistics yesterday by the PSNI showed that 55 people died in road tragedies last year – the second lowest figure on record.

Three of those fatalities in 2018 were children under the age of 16, including three-year-old Kai Corkum from Newtownards who died on December 14 as a result of injuries suffered when he was knocked down by a car.

Of the 55 people who died on the roads, 23 were drivers, 16 were pedestrians, eight were passengers, seven were motorcyclists and there was one cyclist.

PSNI records show that 591 people had been seriously injured on the Province’s roads up until the end of October, a decrease from the 657 at the same point in 2017.

Since records began in 1931, 14,966 people have lost their lives on NI’s roads, peaking in 1972 with 372 deaths. The lowest figure of 48 deaths was recorded in 2012.

This year’s 55 deaths is eight fewer people than last year and equal to the 2010 total, making it the second lowest year since records began.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “Despite the continuing downward trend and overall reduction in the number of people killed on our roads, one death is one too many.

“This reduction gives no consolation to 55 families across Northern Ireland, who are coming to terms with the death of loved ones killed in road traffic collisions during 2018. Many more people are fighting to recover or are learning to cope with life changing injuries.

“There is also a small group of people whose actions on the roads have caused death or serious injury. They not only have to live and cope with this knowledge, they may also be facing prosecution which could ultimately lead to imprisonment.”

Katrina Godfrey, Department for Infrastructure permanent secretary said: “The department remains committed to improving road safety and continues to work closely with our road safety partners and many other agencies to deliver a programme of road safety education, engineering and enforcement initiatives.”

THE FATAL TOLL DOWN THE DECADES:

1931: 114

1945: 124

1953: 163

1964: 219

1969: 257

1972: 372

1982: 216

1990: 185

2000: 171

2009: 115

2010: 55

2011: 59

2012: 48

2013: 57

2014: 79

2015: 74

2016: 68

2017: 63

2018: 55