One of the best aspects of telematics, is its ability to make driving safer. It cuts back on speeding and reduces rapid acceleration and heavy braking, making not only the driver safe but those around them safer too. However, when it comes down to it, the driver is the one making those changes. It’s their responsibility.
With that in mind, Northern Ireland has launched a new safety initiative to remind drivers that it’s their responsibility to keep themselves and everyone else safe on the road. This is in response to a recent rise in fatal road accidents and is being headed by the local police.
Head of road policing and superintendent Gerry Murray said: “Since the start of the year 40 people have lost their lives on our roads and within the last 24 hours the family and friends of two more people are grieving the loss of a loved one. The sad reality is that many of the deaths and serious injuries on our roads could be avoided.”
One of the big lessons that he and his fellow officers want to put across, is that one of the most dangerous aspects of driving is speeding. Breaking the limit not only puts you at increased risk of being arrested, but of being in an accident as well:
“Speed is the number one cause of fatal collisions so we really need people to understand that by slowing down and altering their speed to suit the conditions of the road they can potentially save a life,” he said. “As well as slowing down we need drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists to pay more attention, to respect other road users, and to take personal responsibility for their own safety.”
He also brought up the relationship between the different road users. While not pointing the finger at any of them, he said that all had a responsibility to make the roads safer, not just for themselves but for everyone else as well. If everyone was more aware, he said, there’d be a lot less accidents on the road.
Speaking to the Londonderry Sentinel, environment minister Mark H Durkan said: “I offer my sincere sympathies to the families of those who have died. The increase in road deaths this year highlights that using the roads is the most dangerous thing that most of us do most days. Whenever we use the roads, we all need to keep our focus at all times and ensure that we adopt safe and appropriate behaviours.
“By treating the road as a shared space and taking care, we can all reduce the risk of being involved in a collision.”
Police forces have also put out warnings for hotspot counties that are the most dangerous to drive in. Border county Monaghan was listed as the worst, with over a 33 per cent rise in fatal road accidents in recent years. Fortunately though, the overall trend is seeing less accidents than in the past, but there’s still work to be done.