A cross-border road safety meeting will be staged this week as it emerged that over a dozen people have been killed on the north west’s roads so far this year.
Hundreds of local schoolchildren will join the PSNI, An Garda Siochana and a range of other bodies at a public meeting in Strabane on Wednesday.
So far in 2016, eight people have died in road traffic accidents in Derry and Strabane this year, with a similar number also losing their lives on Donegal roads.
Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) will host the ‘Staying Safe on our Roads’ meeting at the Alley Theatre and Conference Centre, Railway Street, Strabane, at 11am on Wednesday.
Speakers at the event will include the PCSP, NI Policing Board, PSNI, An Garda Siochana, Foyle and District Road Safety Committee, and Donegal County Council.
All post primary schools in the council area have been invited to attend.
Speaking ahead of the public meeting, Vice Chair of the Derry and Strabane PCSP, Councillor Gus Hastings urged people to attend.
He said: “Road safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians is a major concern for the PCSP and its partners. Already this year we have witnessed eight road fatalities in the Derry and Strabane Council area. This is a tragic loss of life on our roads.
“The Local Policing Plan for our area has a target to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads but it is the responsibility of everyone, not just the PSNI, to try to make our roads safer for all users.
“I am delighted that our neighbours in Donegal County Council will also be participating in the event given the recent tragic road fatalities in the County.
“It is also notable that the County shares 93% of its land border with Northern Ireland so the closer we can work together on road safety the better. I would invite anyone with an interest in road safety to attend the meeting and take away invaluable advice on staying safe on our roads.”
Catherine Pollock, Chair of NI Policing Board’s Partnership Committee, added: “The Policing Board places a firm focus on road safety and includes targets in the annual Policing Plan for the PSNI to keep people safe on our roads. But this is not just a policing issue. We can all take lessons on how to stay safe on our roads whether we are drivers, passengers, pedestrians or cyclists.
“59 people have died on our roads this year, eight within the Derry and Strabane area. All those deaths are tragedies which have no doubt devastated families across Northern Ireland. I very much welcome the opportunity to work together to encourage people to stay safe on our roads and particularly to get that message out to young people who are starting out as new drivers so they don’t have to learn any lessons the hard way.”