A new campaign, launched by the Department of Environment (DOE) in Northern Ireland last month, focuses on how the majority of road collisions are due to human error and are not ‘accidents’.
Entitled ‘Excuses’, the campaign highlights that more than 95% of collisions, where someone is killed or seriously injured, are due to human error; not the roads, weather, vehicles, or the environment. The hard-hitting television ad plays out examples across the whole gamut of road safety and the excuses that those responsible for collisions make.
Launching the campaign, Alex Attwood, Northern Ireland’s environment minister, said: “This campaign aims is to deepen everyone’s awareness of their personal responsibility when using the road and to reinforce the need to share the road with others. We are responsible for our own actions and for the consequences. There can be no excuses.
“This campaign challenges the notion that crashes are unavoidable and acknowledges that we can all take a proactive and preventative approach to minimise road casualties.
“A crash is not fate; it is a man-made tragedy that cannot be denied by excuses. Crashes are preventable and we are all responsible. By treating the road as a shared space, we can reduce the risks of being involved in a collision.
“We already have the evidence that this is working. Road users in Northern Ireland have begun to take responsibility, we have modified our driving and riding behaviour and we are more aware as pedestrians. Lives have been saved as a result. We need to build on this to achieve the greater prize – that of zero road deaths.”
Chief superintendent Peter Farrar, Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: “The new ad clearly illustrates the reality that cars rarely cause collisions; roads rarely cause collisions; people cause collisions.
“Reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on Northern Ireland’s roads is an achievable objective. But it can only be delivered if we all work together.”