Road death toll record low

Road collisions are at a record low
Road collisions are at a record low

Death rates on Dungannon District roads have fallen to one of their lowest levels since records began.

In 2013 there were 2 fatalities on local roads, a drop from the previous year’s toll of 3. The number of deaths on local roads has declined significantly since 2009 when there were 8 road deaths.

The sharp decline has been linked to improved road safety, most notably the creation of the A4 dual carriageway between Dungannon and Ballygawley.

From being one of the most dangerous districts in Northern Ireland for motorists and pedestrians in 2009, the Dungannon borough is now one of the safest.

The total number of traffic collisions resulting in an injury or death in the Dungannon District has also dropped from 273 in 2012 to 270 last year.

Magherafelt and Fermanagh districts each had five road deaths in the past year, and are now the most dangerous areas for traffic users in Northern Ireland,

Meanwhile, Cookstown is one of the safest districts for motorists in the North, with no fatalities recorded last year, and only 143 collisions resulting in an injury.

Dungannon’s low death toll is replicated across Northern Ireland. The 53 fatalities last year compares to the peak of 372 40 years ago.

The trend has been steadily downward in the last four decades, with the annual total dropping below 100 for the first time in 2010.

In 1931, the first year statistics were recorded, 114 people died in road crashes. In the last 80 years, 14,570 people have lost their lives, with around 75,000 suffering serious injury.

But for reasons that remain unclear, there has been a particularly sharp drop in fatalities in Northern Ireland after 2009.

Every year since then has had well below 100 deaths.

Prior to that, every year since records began in 1931 recorded more than 100 deaths, and often many times more.

In 2010 there were 55 deaths, by far the lowest to that date. In 2011 the toll was 59, then 2012 was the safest ever at 48 deaths.

Fatalities last year rose slightly but remain far down on the past.

Traffic levels in Northern Ireland have only dropped fractionally during the recession so cannot explain the improvement. Despite the reduction, the current total still represents one life lost each week on average.