Northern Ireland multi-agency forum established

Date Published : December 28th, 2013    Published By : admin

A new multi-agency group has been established to tackle road deaths and injuries and promote road safety awareness throughout Northern Ireland.

The group, known as the ‘Joint Road Safety Forum’ was created by members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS), the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and other related agencies.

The aim of the forum is to promote awareness of road safety issues in a bid to reduce the numbers of road deaths and casualties on Northern Ireland roads. Voicing their concern about the recent road death figures, members of PCPS in Cookstown, Fermanagh, Omagh, Dungannon and South Tyrone said that ‘unfortunately, road traffic collisions are all too-often occurrences on our roads. Every death on our roads is one too many and we aim to improve road safety for all road users through our on-going PCSP Action Plan’.

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service has attended 109 road traffic collisions across the districts of Fermanagh, Omagh and Cookstown so far this year. Group Commander of the NIFRS, Eamon Gallagher welcomes the establishment of the forum and the opportunity to play a role in the multi-agency road safety partnership. He said “We have attended 109 road traffic collisions this year and unfortunately our Firefighters, along with our colleagues in the Emergency Services, have witnessed all too often the carnage on our roads and the lives completely destroyed caused by irresponsible driver behaviour such as drink driving, inattention and not wearing a seatbelt.  We fully support this joint road safety partnership to reduce the number of road traffic collisions occurring and the number of people killed and seriously injured as a result”

Fifteen people lost their lives on roads in the Cookstown, Fermaagh, Omagh, Dungannon and South Tyrone district areas this year so far, compared to seven last year. The Police Service of Northern Ireland also welcomes this forum and assures the community that they are all committed addressing the issue of road safety. PSNI Chief Constable Sue Ann Steen said “The pain of avoidable deaths such as those on our roads touches family, friends and communities right across Cookstown, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh and Omagh and beyond. Each victim represents a tragic loss for individual families and friends. I do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads”.

Chief Constable Steen concluded “If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wore a seatbelt and drove with greater care and attention then together we can reduce this preventable carnage on our roads.”

Pic: Members of the multiagency Joint Road Safety Forum (l-r) Rosemary Barton, Fermanagh PCSP, Frances Burton, Dungannon PCSP, Gary Harkness, Cookstown PCSP, PSNI Chief Inspector Sue Ann Steen, Fiona Crawford, Dungannon PCSP, Eamon O’Hagan, Station Commander, NIFRS, Roger Burton, Dungannon PCSP and Errol Thompson, Omagh PCSP

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