Provisional figures for 2017 show that 63 people died in road collisions in Northern Ireland, five fewer than 2016.
Published by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) on 1 January, the figures also highlight long-term progress – with the 2017 fatality figure 50% lower than the 2004-08 baseline (126).
However, in contrast to the fall in deaths, the figures show a year-on-year rise in the number of serious injuries in 2017, up 16% to 828 – the highest number since 2010. However, DfI points out the figure is still 25% lower than the 2004-08 baseline of 1,111.
Looking at road user type, 25 of the fatalities were drivers (40%) and 12 were passengers (19%). 15 pedestrians lost their lives (24%), as did nine motorcyclists (14%) and two cyclists (3%).
There were four child (under 16 years) fatalities recorded in 2017, the same number as in 2016.
On the back of the figures, the DfI is encouraging all road users to ‘take personal responsibility and share the road’ to ensure their own safety and that of other road users.
Lynda Hurley, head of the DfI’s safe and sustainable travel promotion and outreach team, said: “The consequences of road traffic collisions endure for a lifetime and this year has again seen lost lives and heartbroken families.
“While five fewer people have died than last year, every death is one too many – we need to work together to make 2018 a better year on our roads.
“We will only see a further reduction in the number of people being killed or seriously injured if we all assume personal responsibility; whether as drivers, riders, passengers or pedestrians, for our own safety and the safety of others.
“Together it is our actions that make a difference.”