72 killed on north's roads so far this year
FOUR children were among 72 people to die on Northern Ireland's roads this year - with no cyclists among the casualties for the first time in five years.
The figures show that among those who died, 34 were drivers, 18 were pedestrians, 16 were passengers and four were motorcyclists.
Four of those killed were aged under 16, while 19 were aged 65 and over. A total of 51 males and 21 females were killed.
For the first time since 2010, there were no cyclists killed on the north's roads.
During the period between 2011 and 2014 there were 11 cyclists killed on the roads.
Between 2005 and 2014, almost 400 cyclists were seriously injured on the norths roads while almost 1,900 were slightly injured.
The overall total so far for 2015 compares to 79 fatalities for the whole of the north last year, and 57 deaths in 2013.
Among those killed most recently was seven-year-old Ryan McGovern, from Belcoo in Co Fermanagh, who was knocked down on the Lattone Road, between the village of Belcoo and Garrison, on Sunday.
Just a few weeks earlier retired firefighter Eugene McNally (56), from Laurencetown, Co Down, was killed in a two-car crash on the A1 between Newry and Loughbrickland.
There were also a number of road crashes which claimed multiple lives in 2015.
In April, Johnny Black (19) and Robin Wilson (26) were killed in the head-on crash near Ballycastle in Co Antrim during the Easter break.
In August, three friends - Peter Hughes, Gavin Sloan and Conall Harvern - were killed in a two-car collision on the A1 dual carriageway in Co Down.
The crash, which happened between Dromore and Banbridge, took place as the three Queen's University students were returning home from Belfast after finalising their accommodation in the city for the forthcoming academic year.
In September, Eoin Farrell, from Rostrevor and James Miskelly, from Mayobridge - both aged 17 - were killed when their car smashed into a wall and careered into a nearby field in Rostrevor, Co Down.
Gordon Clarke, from walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, welcomed the fact that there had been no cyclist fatalities so far this year however said there was still "work to be done to reduce the number of collisions involving cyclists as there were a high number of cyclists who suffered injuries, both serious and minor, on our roads this year.
"We are particularly concerned at the number of pedestrians killed over the past year, a total of 18 people, and would urge everyone, not just motorists, to take care on the roads and be mindful of the most vulnerable users".
However Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan said the number of fatalities and injuries on the roads was still a "serious concern".
"Together, it is our actions as road users that make a difference," he said.
"It is each of us who can save lives, it is each of us who can protect ourselves and others from death and serious injury - by slowing down, by always paying attention, reading the road and anticipating the actions of other road users, never driving having consumed drink or drugs, ignoring the mobile phone and always wearing your seatbelt, no matter how short the journey".
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