SDLP Infrastructure Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has called for revenue generated from fix penalties to be reinvested in road safety and utilised across government departments.
It follows a record number of speeding offences recorded last year, according to the Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership (NIRSP).
Speaking on Road Safety Week which runs until November 25, the Foyle MLA said: “Road Safety consists of three elements; enforcement, engineering and education.
“From my understanding the majority of the revenue generated by fixed penalties is reinvested by NIRSP back into enforcement with part funding provided to some Road Safety Initiatives delivered by PSNI.
“A record number of speeding offences surely means a record amount of money generated through fines. Given the current context, I feel there needs to be a major rethink on how this money is utilised.
“It is of huge concern to me that road safety is being compromised by major budget cuts implemented by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in terms of Road Safety Programmes and advertising, the inability to carry out basic road infrastructure improvements and of course, the limited funds available to the Education Authority (EA) for school crossing patrols.
“Budget pressures within the DfI, the PSNI and across government departments have all but demolished the pillars of road safety.
“It seems there is a tragedy on our roads almost every other week and sadly the numbers of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions are on the rise.
“There had been a drastic reduction in road fatalities within the last decade and that’s testament in part to the powerful information campaign through schools and TV advertising.
“However, that budget has been completely slashed, furthermore budget pressures have left DfI Roads unable to adequately maintain their assets which includes repairing potholes or refreshing eroded line markings. All of which is impacting on safety for all road users.
“The public is bearing the brunt of government departments ‘worse-case scenario’ budget cuts. No family should suffer the needless, tragic death of a loved one on our roads.
“I’ll continue to liaise with the to see how their income could be strategically spent across government departments to improve road safety including providing a sustainable funding stream for school crossing patrol officers going forward.
“The focus of any road safety initiative must always be about keeping people safe.”Tags: