Speed enforcement marathon under way in North West

Speed camera van
Speed camera van

Motorists in the north west have been advised that local PSNI officers will be taking part in a 24-hour European-wide speed clampdown today.

The TISPOL (The European Traffic Police Network) speed enforcement marathon is taking place to highlight that inappropriate speed is the single biggest factor in fatal road collisions across Europe.

PSNI Chief Inspector Diane Pennington said: “Speed, or more accurately, excessive speed for the conditions, is consistently one of the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured on roads across Northern Ireland.

“Road Policing officers, working alongside Local and Neighbourhood Teams, District Support Teams, Tactical Support Group and the Northern Ireland Safety Camera Partnership will be paying particular attention to drivers who fail to stay within the speed limits over the next 24 hours.

“Already this year, nine people have been killed on our roads. While the number of people killed has fallen when compared to the same time last year, the sad reality is that behind each fatality, there are families, friends and communities across Northern Ireland who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

“When you consider that many, if not the majority of these deaths caused by collisions could have been avoided; it is an appalling waste of life. This is why every single person, whether as a road user or pedestrian must do something to help prevent deaths on our roads.”

Chf. Inspector Pennington said it was not just car drivers who needed to be mindful but also pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

She said: “Pedestrians must pay attention to their environment, whether that means not getting distracted by friends or mobile devices, or being especially careful when walking on country roads by walking against the traffic flow and by wearing highly visible clothing.

“With the brighter evenings we are mindful of more motorcyclists taking to the roads, so we’re encouraging Bikers to ensure their motorcycles and safety equipment are in good working order and that they ride defensively. In addition, drivers need to be alert to the presence of motorcyclists using the road network, particularly when emerging from and turning into junctions.

“Cyclists also need to remember they are amongst the most vulnerable road users, so we recommend wearing a helmet, always using front and rear lights, not listening to music players and keeping aware of their surroundings.

“At the same time, drivers must be aware of cyclists, paying particular care at junctions, traffic lights, when opening vehicle doors after parking. Most importantly, drivers need to give cyclists enough room when overtaking.

“Police will continue to focus on robustly enforcing the law to make Northern Ireland’s roads safer. All we ask is that drivers slow down, never drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt, drive with greater care and attention and don’t use mobile phones while driving,” Chief Inspector Pennington concluded.