Road-safety improvements save lives

Road-safety improvements in Northern Ireland have saved 2,000 people from death or serious injury over the last five years, new figures show.

But Charlie Henderson, a senior consultant with PA Consulting Group, said: "All road traffic collisions are avoidable, and we should not be satisfied with the current levels of carnage on our roads - 113 deaths and 1,097 serious injuries last year."

Northern Ireland has had the worst road-safety record of any part of the UK, but its relative performance has improved significantly in the last five years, he said

Mr Henderson said some would argue that Northern Ireland was simply catching up with the rest of the UK from an atrocious starting position - but in fact it is now ahead of other UK regions.

He said that accidents not only cause great personal suffering, but they also cost the economy £450 million a year.

And in terms of other road users, about 20% of all congestion is caused by collisions, while a drop in road accidents and injuries should lead to a cut in car insurance premiums.

Copyright © Press Association 2008