TO date this year 16 people have lost their lives and many more seriously injured in traffic collisions on the roads of Northern Ireland.
With increased traffic levels expected over the coming long weekend, police are urging drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians to take extra care while on the roads.
Head of the Road and Armed Support Unit, Superintendent Muir Clark said: “With many people enjoying some time off over the double bank holiday weekend, we are appealing to all road users to exercise caution, as our statistics illustrate that like any other holiday period, there is an increased risk of collisions.
“Considering that speeding and drink driving remain the biggest causes of collisions which kill and seriously injure people on roads across Northern Ireland, our message to drivers and riders is very simple.
“If you speed, take drink or drugs and drive, fail to wear your seatbelt, drive carelessly or dangerously, you run the real risk of killing or seriously injuring yourself, your passengers or some other innocent road user.
“Over the coming weekend, we will have additional police resources on the roads across Northern Ireland and will be running joint operations with our An Garda Síochána Traffic Corps colleagues in the border counties, specifically looking for road users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks.
“As many school children will be enjoying the holidays, road users should also keep an eye out for increased numbers of children walking or cycling on rural roads, crossing roads, particularly close to schools, parks and leisure amenities, in addition to junctions and bus stops.
“Motorists should give extra consideration to motorcyclists - look out for bikes when overtaking, at junctions, when turning right and when emerging onto main roads.”
“Drivers of heavy goods vehicles and agricultural machinery should be particularly vigilant and make full use of their mirrors to check for bikers,”
“All road users have a role to play in preventing deaths and injuries on our roads. All we ask is that drivers slow down, do not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt and drive with greater care and attention,” Superintendent Clark said.