FERMANAGH roads are officially among the most deadly in the North with almost 50 lives being lost on local roads in five years, shocking new figures have revealed.
Between 2012 and 2016, 47 people lost their lives on the roads in Fermanagh and Omagh, the UK’s third highest rate of fatal traffic accidents. The study was conducted by the telematics technology business Teletrac Navman, using fatality data from the Department of Transport and the PSNI over a period of five years.
The death rate here was 4.15 per 10,000 residents. In Mid Ulster, 32 people lost their lives on the roads in the same time period while in contrast, Belfast was ranked the fourth safest area in the UK.
Seven people lost their lives on Fermanagh’s roads last year alone while in June, father-of-three Wilson Atchison (42) from the Coleraine area, became the first person to die on the county’s roads in 2018.
Ulster Unionist Cllr Victor Warrington says that while he wasn’t surprised by the findings, it’s a statistic that Fermanagh could do without.
“The amount of fatalities in my own area on the stretch of road from Brookeborough and Fivemiletown, three in the space of 50 metres, has been terrible. Unfortunately the numbers are there and we as a council have liaised with the relevant agencies down the years to see what can be done. We have discussed speed reductions but when you are dealing with the main A4 Belfast road, it’s just not suitable.”
Sinn Fein councillor Thomas O’Reilly said the figures are a stark reminder of the importance of road safety.
“The roads here are not the best to say the least and we recognise that. The Police and Community Safety Partnership works with schools every year, trying to bring home the message of just how dangerous our roads can be.
“Quite a high percentage of those involved in collisions, including fatal crashes, are younger people. Along with this we try to bring people’s attention to the importance of not drink-driving, not using their phones when driving and keeping their speed down, in serious campaigns that are run year after year because year after year we are getting a new generation of young people learning to drive and taking to the roads,” he added.
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