The PSNI has urged all road users to take extra care following five fatal road traffic collisions in the first 10 days of 2014.
Speaking at a press conference at PSNI headquarters on 11 January, superintendent David Moore, said: “Northern Ireland is facing a road safety emergency. We have had someone dying on our roads every 48 hours so far in 2014. That is five deaths in the first 10 days of the New Year and five families left devastated.
“The sad reality is that many of the deaths and serious injuries on our roads could be avoided but we need the collective efforts of everyone in Northern Ireland to do their bit to bring carnage on our roads to an end.”
Superintendent Moore said there were a number of issues drivers needed to take into consideration when getting behind the wheel of their vehicle.
He explained: “The first issue is distraction – the first task of everyone taking to the road in a vehicle is to concentrate on driving that vehicle without being distracted by anything including mobile phones.
“You must not drive your car after taking alcohol or drugs. Every year across Northern Ireland, drinking and driving kills, maims and wrecks families. Police will not tolerate people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or drink.
“Drivers also need to slow down as speed kills. It is not about driving at a speed suitable for the set of road conditions, it is about being able to respond to the unexpected.
“It is also essential everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt as seatbelts really do save lives.”
Superintendent Moore said the PSNI would continue to focus on road safety and work with partner agencies including the Department of Environment to tackle the issue.
He added: “This is about education and enforcement. No one can say they have not been told about the dangers and the risks associated with road use and those who break the law in relation to this will face the consequences.
“We all need to play our part in road safety. All road users must accept their responsibility to think about their actions on the roads.”
Click here to read the full PSNI press release.