You can’t put a price on safety

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I appreciate this opportunity to respond to Norman Hamill’s recent column about speeding detections in Foyle.

The reality is speed kills and any former police officer should be well aware of the devastation that a road death can cause for a family and a community.Telling a mother that her son or daughter has died as a result of a car crash is one of the most difficult things a police officer will have to do. That’s why every officer here in Foyle is wholly committed to protecting the people who use our roads every day.

Part of our road safety strategy is about detecting those motorists who choose to ignore the speed limits and put other road users at risk.

We use a variety of detection methods including mobile safety cameras and handheld devices. A big part of road safety is about educating younger drivers in particular about the responsibilities that come with getting behind the wheel of a car.

In fact police and the local District Policing Partnership in Limavady were recently shortlisted for an award for our Custom Cruisers Project which aims to give younger drivers the knowledge and skills to be safe and responsible road users. When the project began in 2006 young people aged between 16 and 25 represented 50 percent of those killed or seriously injured on the roads, with Limavady sitting above the Northern Ireland average. The work undertaken through the Custom Cruisers alongside our other road safety initiatives meant there were no people in that age group killed or seriously injured by the end of 2010 throughout the District.

I believe everyone can benefit from a bit more road safety education, no mater what your age.

Road safety is not about how much revenue can be made; it’s about keeping our children, parents, grandparents and friends safe. You can’t put a price on that.

Inspector Stevie Haslett, North West Road Policing Unit