MOTORISTS are being urged to take care when driving after a report revealed that speeding offences committed in the North of Ireland are at an all-time high.
Figures released by the Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership have shown a staggering 53,000 violations were recorded last year.
County Fermanagh is not the worst region for driving offences but the A32 Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen saw 262 motorists done for speeding.
Other hotspots in the region include the A4 road between Enniskillen and Lisbellaw where 259 speeding drivers were caught while 114 motorists were found to be driving over the speed limit on Main Street in Derrylin.
While those figures are nowhere near as bad the Shore Road in Belfast (5127 offences) and the A55 Outer Ring Road in Belfast (2271 offences), the chairman of Road Safe NI, Davy Jackson, has advised Fermanagh drivers to take extra care and do their bit to ensure lower speeding offence figures for the future.
He said: “Road Safe NI are disappointed that the number of speeding offences in NI has reached an all time high.
“First of all we should commend the Road Safety Partnership for detecting these drivers who show little regard for their own safety or the safety of others.
“There is no doubt about it, excessive speed for the conditions is a killer. Many drivers think that it will never happen to them but unfortunately it does. All too often, drivers perceived driving ability is much higher than their actual driving ability and this gets them in to trouble.
“Two thirds of these detections were on 30 mph roads. These are the roads where our children are playing and making their way to and from school. It is a scandal.
“To date this year 18 precious lives have needlessly been lost on our roads. These lives could have been saved if everyone drove with care courtesy and consideration.
“We would ask any driver who exceeds the speed limit to take a minute and think how they would feel if one of their loved ones lives were lost because of a speeding driver. Slow down, concentrate fully on the road ahead and always expect the unexpected.
“Remember speed limits are an absolute maximum, never a target.”
Head of Road Policing, Chief Inspector Graham Dodds, added that drivers had to be mindful that people cause accidents, not cars.
He said: “Excessive speed for the conditions is the single biggest killer of people on our roads. The reality is that cars rarely cause collisions and roads rarely cause collisions; people cause collisions.
“During 2021 our collision investigations revealed excessive speed to have been in the top three causes of crashes which kill and seriously injure on our roads.
“Removing excess speed from the road safety equation should be the easiest thing that every road user can do. If we all stop speeding, more people live. If we all stop speeding, fewer people have to contend with life-changing injuries.
“We use a mixture of education and enforcement to address speeding. Our Road Safety Education officers are in schools and youth clubs across communities every week helping young people understand what it really means to stay safe on our roads.
“Our award-winning Roadsafe Roadshow has been seen by thousands of young people and is a realistic account of what can happen when we make poor choices. Our Bike Safe programme aims to ensure that motorcyclists have the knowledge and skills they need to use the roads safely.
“For those drivers who ignore the road safety message, they are likely to encounter local police and Road Policing officers on the motorways, main roads and country roads on any day of the week carrying out speed enforcement operations. For some of these offenders, the margin of their speed may lead to an invitation to the Speed Awareness Course where we seek to encourage and convince motorists that taking responsibility for their own actions will benefit everyone.
“In 2022 to date there has been one more person killed on the roads in G District (Fermanagh and Omagh Policing District) than this time last year and it is vital that we take measures to prevent more deaths, both locally and nationally.
“The responsibility for making our roads a safer place is one that we all share. All right thinking and law-abiding motorists will realise that speed restrictions are not there to inconvenience them, but to make our roads safer for everyone.
“Road safety is and will continue to be a key priority for the road safety partnership and police and our aim is to prevent people from being seriously injured or killed.”
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