A Button Of Difference

tractor-load-250As you know at Right To Ride, we deal a lot with road safety and issues that surround motorcycling, both on the website and more up to date information and comments via social media, specifically Facebook.

One of the groups we follow on Facebook and sit at the same table with at the Road Safety Forum (chaired by the Department Of The Environment’s present minister Mark H Durkan), is the Road Safety Council for Northern Ireland plus other stakeholders.

The PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) representatives who also sit on the Road Safety Forum, produce statistics on injuries from road traffic collisions which are, “the main source of information used in Northern Ireland for monitoring and tracking trends on the number of persons killed, seriously and slightly injured as a result of collisions on our roads.”

This information they say, “is used widely within the PSNI and by other partner Agencies, to ensure that emerging problems are quickly identified and can be addressed through a combination of approaches including enforcement (PSNI), education (Road Safety through the Dept of Environment) or by engineering (Transport NI).”

Part of these statistics include a daily road collision fatality update which also compares previous years to the latest totals to date.

On the Road Safety Council for Northern Ireland Facebook page they made the comment that, “PSNI statistics make grim reading as far as the number killed on our roads are concerned. Not yet half way through the year and the number has already reached 32. (31 this time last year and 24 this time 2013).” This years PSNI statistics show a reduction in motorcycle fatalities to date compared with last year.

Our reply to this comment was, “So lets put this out there – all the road safety messages all the millions spent on road safety advertisements (as opposed to road safety information) has not made a button of difference including meetings with the DOE Minister through the Road Safety Forum.  Of course when this is mentioned, the response is always,  “if all this was not done there may have been more fatalities”.

So the question is what will make a difference?

Road Safety Council for Northern Ireland

road-safety-council-ni-logoOn the Road Safety Council for Northern Ireland Facebook  in response to the question, what will make a difference, two people have responded.

” What will make a difference Trevor is the authorities just putting their hands up and saying “we just don’t know” and then asking for help. This will not happen of course but we can always hope. :-)”

“Personal responsibility. Lots of armchair critics out there who might benefit from having an honest assessment of their own driving/riding ability conducted. RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders would love to help. They have some really knowledgable people who know quite a bit about driving and riding. There, gauntlet down.”

However on our own Facebook page riders gave further comments.

These comments were also in response to two videos we posted up.

One shows a riders near miss at a notoriously bad junction,  with a bad line of sight, that could have been another PSNI Statistic but for the rider taking control of the situation.

The junction is at Graigantlet  Co Down – plans were turned down to change the two junctions here with roundabouts (local resident complaints). The whole Craigantlet route has recently saw some major changes in road improvements and was seen by Transport NI as a route to be treated as a motorcycle friendly route.

The other video is just unbelievable showing irresponsibility and shameless stupidity of how not to load a trailer.

Have a look at the videos and read the comments and then think what will make a button of difference for road safety in Northern Ireland?

Comments – A Button Of Difference

junction-craigantlet-250“They would be better spending the millions on improving the rural road network some of the roads are dangerous for motorbikes. Also some justice for the families of bikers killed by drivers instead of laying the blame on the biker.”

“Reminds me of an old saying, ‘He who asks the questions cannot avoid the answers’.”

“Slow down peeps..ffs…im a biker a long time and the buzz of a mammy mammy corner aint worf it ladz…sick every summer of bikers crashin…discuss”

“Its not the bikers that need educating. Its young car drivers.”

“Why not get the government to pass it that anyone wanting to drive has to do a cbt bike test and ride for a year on the roads before jumping into a car it would generate a fund for the government and give all drivers awareness to bikers.”

“I still don’t understand people saying slow down. I ride as if my life is in danger every second and it doesn’t make a difference. Car drivers still don’t have their eyes open.”

“Wonder how many of them involved tractors?”

“Meanwhile on a country road near you – a tractor driver shows contempt for road safety and every bodies safety, from what ever angle you look at it – video via – Driving Standards Northern Ireland.”

“That doesn’t surprise me at all. This trailer was overloaded and should of had some form of netting over the load to stop it falling onto the road. I’m wondering if the trailer had any working tail lights/indicators, probably not. This is a total disgrace and is happening all the time on our roads. and the police seem to be turning a blind eye to it.

Another thing that i see a lot is tractors driving on our roads with an attachment on the front which consists of a row of metal spikes at least two foot long that i assume they use for lifting the large round hay bales. As far as i know they should be raised high in the air when not loaded while driving along the road, but i always see them driving along with them raised around chest/windscreen level. I shudder to think of the consequences should these vehicles be involved in a head on collision with a car never mind a motorcycle. I hope the above video has been passed onto the police and hopefully this moron that is clearly breaking the law is prosecuted.”

“Just one answer for you on the trailer lights/indicators – from the video maker – Despite the thing being filthy and not appearing to have a registration plat fitted and clearly displayed, the lights on the trailer were connected, clear of dirt and in working order. Which was the only thing right about this!”

Craigantlet – Near Miss

The near miss is approximately 1min 18secs into the video as the rider said to us – “It’s part and parcel of everyday riding, and should be highlighted as much as possible, it’s just a pity I didn’t get the blank expression on the drivers face.”


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Tractor – Trailer – Trees

Meanwhile on a country road near you – a tractor driver shows contempt for road safety and everybody’s safety, from what ever angle you look at it – video via – Driving Standards Northern Ireland.

Links & Information

Follow the comments on the Right To Ride – Facebook Page

Road Safety Council for Northern Ireland is a voluntary organisation. Their mission statement is, “The Road Safety Council of Northern Ireland will strive to reduce the incidence of death and serious injuries by increasing awareness through their network of local Road Safety Committees and will continue to enhance the activities and effectiveness of all relevant bodies on behalf of road users.” – On Facebook

PSNI Road Traffic Collision Statistics – Click Here

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