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HEARTACHE: Another tragic year on the roads

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IN A year when a number of people – including a young quad driver and an elderly GAA fan – lost their lives on local roads, the number of road fatalities and those seriously injured has increased.
In a report released by the PSNI, it stated “the largest increase in killed or seriously injured people was in the Fermanagh & Omagh District which increased their number by more than half from 50 recorded between January and October 2015 to 78 this year.”
The latest victim on the Fermanagh roads, was 25 year old Kristaps Smilskalns, who was involved in a two vehicle car crash on the Derrygonnelly Road, Enniskillen on October 15th.
Among the people killed on local roads was Patrick James (Packie) McGeough from Co Monaghan died following a two car crash near Newtownbutler on September 3rd. 24 year-old Keith Robinson, was also killed in a quad bike accident on the Aghintain Road in Fivemiletown on Sunday July 10th.
Although in the North as a whole, provisional figures released by the PSNI show that the number of road deaths for 2016 was 68. This figure has decreased from 74 in 2015 and 79 in 2014. Among those who died were four children, three of whom were pedestrians, while 32 drivers lost their lives throughout 2016.
While the number of road deaths have decreased in the North, looking ahead to 2017, road safety remains a priority for motorists and Roads Minister Chris Hazzard.
“While six fewer people have died than last year, every death is one too many – we need to work together to make 2017 a better year on our roads. I will continue to work with my Executive colleagues, the PSNI, the Fire and Rescue Service, the Ambulance Service and the many other agencies to improve road safety.”
“We will continue to focus on the main problem areas, such as drink driving, speeding, carelessness and inattention and seatbelt wearing; and on groups which are over-represented in the casualty figures.”
“The vast majority of road deaths are preventable. Complacency poses an enormous threat to road users – so we must not let our guard down,” concluded Minister Chris Hazzard.


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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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