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St Colman’s High School Pupils Help Launch Road Safety Campaign
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ENVIRONMENT Minister Alex Attwood today launched a new and challenging DOE road safety advertising campaign.

Did you know that each death on the roads costs £1.67 million, each serious injury £187,000 and each slight injury over £14,000? But the human suffering can never be measured.

Encouraging road users to “Share the Road to Zero”, it signals the Minister’s aspiration for everyone to join up on a journey towards zero road deaths in Northern Ireland.

The role of the new campaign is to convey the human sorrow behind every road death statistic so that people feel personally challenged, yet motivated, to become part of DOE’s ‘Vision Zero’ campaign.

People can pledge to “Share the Road to Zero” by clicking on http://www.sharetheroadtozero.com 

Pupils from St Colman's High School in Ballynahinch back the campaign launched by Minister Alex Arrwood to reduce road deaths to zero (Photo by Brian Thompson / Press Eye.)

Pupils from St Colman’s High School in Ballynahinch back the campaign launched by Minister Alex Attwood to reduce road deaths to zero
(Photo by Brian Thompson / Press Eye.)

Minister Attwood said: “The number of road deaths in the year to date is 17 – twice the number of last year. This tells me that we should all sit up and warn ourselves of the risks on the road. The latest campaign advertisement is to make us sit up, be safe and to work to reduce road deaths, indeed to have a zero road death ambition.

“2012 put down a major marker for road safety in NI, with the lowest road deaths on record. But 48 families lost a family member last year and already another 17 families this year so far. This is always too many. So let’s renew the work to save lives with the ambition of ‘Vision Zero’, where one death is unacceptable. This is what the campaign is about.

“Road deaths are overwhelmingly due to human error which means we can prevent them. If road deaths can be reduced from 115 to 55 in one year and then to 48 (last year’s toll and lowest ever), then they can be reduced from 48 to 38 and then lower again. Zero may seem to be beyond our grasp – but to work relentlessly towards it must not be beyond our ambition.”

This will be a significant step change for the Department and a natural progression from the recent steps made with the core messages of ‘Respect Everyone’s Journey’ and ‘Kill the Excuses. It’s No Accident!’

If we share the road, we have to share the responsibility. Everyone has the right to travel on the road. Everyone has the right to come home safely to their loved ones. Drivers, riders, pedestrians, or any road users – Share the Road to Zero.

Chief Superintendent Peter Farrar said: “The new advertisement drives home the message that reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on Northern Ireland’s roads is a very real and achievable objective. But the Road to Zero can only be delivered if we all take the responsibility to work together.

“The simple reality is that cars rarely cause collisions; roads rarely cause collisions; people cause collisions. One moment of inattention, one bad decision can have a life changing impact.

“If everyone slowed down, didn’t drive after taking drink or drugs, wore a seatbelt, paid less attention to their mobile phone and drove, walked or cycled with greater care and attention, then the number of deaths and injuries will reduce dramatically.

“Every road death is one too many. We all share the road, so we all share the responsibility to prevent these collisions.”

The “Share the Road to Zero” television campaign will first air on UTV at 7.40pm tonight.

You can take the pledge to “Share the Road to Zero” by clicking on http://www.sharetheroadtozero.com and following advice and updates via email, Facebook and Twitter.

The “Share the Road to Zero” campaign will first air on 24 April during ‘Coronation Street’ on UTV at 7.40pm. Also, later at 9.25pm, 11.00pm, and 11.30pm on UTV.

Northern Ireland Road Deaths 2007-2012
Year – Total
2007 – 113
2008 – 107
2009 – 115
2010 – 55
2011 – 59
2012 – 48

2013 – 17 so far.