Speaking in the Assembly today Mr Middleton said: “It is devastating news that 44 people have died on our roads this year to date.
"These are not just statistics, but real lives. Families have been left heartbroken by the loss of their loved ones.
"My thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of the families affected by the loss of a loved one through a road traffic collision."
He said it had been a privilege to attend an event in the Guildhall on Friday night which remembered those who have died on the roads.
"The event was hosted in the Guildhall by Life After, which is a charity that supports bereaved families who have, sadly, lost loved ones in road traffic collisions," said Mr. Middleton, adding that "as each of the names was read out, and the pictures were displayed on the screens, the devastating impact of the loss of those lives on the families and loved ones who were in attendance or watching online was so evident."
Mr. Middleton continued: "As we enter the Christmas period, I want to urge everyone to be careful on our roads, to be aware of other road users, pedestrians and the surrounding environment.
"During the PSNI Christmas Drink Drive Campaign last year, 280 people were arrested for being over the limit. I urge people to never ever drink or take drugs and drive.
"The impact these actions have goes beyond the statistics we read or hear in the news. The devastation caused to families and loved ones is heartbreaking.
"We all need to ensure we play our part in making our roads as safe as possible. No more lives should be lost.”