HC Deb 10 May 1990 vol 172 cc231-2W
38. Mr. Summerson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on road deaths in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the road casualty reduction programme on 31 October 1989, 86 people have been killed on the roads of Northern Ireland up to the end of April 1990. This includes three people killed in the Slaght level crossing accident and compares with 98 killed in the corresponding period last year.

While this shows a significant improvement, we are still behind our target of a reduction to 140 by 31 October 1990. The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland will continue to work closely with the other statutory and voluntary agencies in the road casualty reduction field.

The key to reducing the number of deaths is effective promotion of involvement and participation by all road users. That requires constant efforts to promote effective media coverage.

Neither advertising nor enforcement can be a full answer. We need drivers to drive skilfully and in accordance with the Highway Code even when a marked police car is not in sight.

Advertising is not available on BBC radio and television.

Death and injury is newsworthy. The news and current affairs coverage by broadcasters and journalists has contributed to the drop in deaths. I am grateful.

Mr. Boyes

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pedestrians, drivers and passengers died in the six months from 1 November 1989 and in the six months from 1 November 1988.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

There has been a 20 per cent. fall to 76 from 94 in the numbers of deaths in these major categories since the start of the casualty reduction campaign.

1 November—30 April
Deaths 1989–90 1988–89
Pedestrians 28 38
Drivers 31 36
Passengers 17 20
Total 76 94

The numbers of cyclist and motor cyclist fatalities have, sadly, risen.

We shall continue to pursue our objective of making Northern Ireland's roads the safest in Europe.