Road Traffic Bill will save lives

18 02 2015


SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has asserted that the proposed Road Traffic Bill will save lives. Speaking in the Assembly chamber after introducing the bill, Mr Ramsey highlighted the various, safety, health and societal benefits to introducing the optional 20mph limit to residential areas.

Mr Ramsey said:  “This Bill is not simply about reducing speeds on local roads, it offers an opportunity for neighbourhoods to reclaim their streets, an opportunity for kids to play safely, and it is a fresh opportunity for us to build better communities at minimum cost for maximum return.

“In earlier consultations many of the key stakeholders baulked at the thought of a blanket reduction. This is something I have taken on board. This effort will not be successful if new limits are imposed rather we are seeking not a blanket ban, but a phased in, community requested, community led approach.

“Having undertaken a considerable amount of consultation I can report that the reaction to and support of this bill has been incredibly encouraging. District Councils across Northern Ireland, the PSNI and countless children’s charities and transport organisations have all voiced their support.

“This bill offers us a chance to improve safety, health, environmental factors and community benefits. This bill also has the potential to tackle obesity rates and improve community health due to increased rates of walking and cycling. If that doesn’t carry it past the threshold of worthwhile legislation than I wonder how high we’ve set the bar?

“Hull Council for example recorded a growth of six times the incidence of cycling after introducing 20mph zones. Edinburgh reports that their 20mph zones have the best air quality in Scotland bucking national and European trends. Evidence suggests that reduced acceleration and braking reduces fuel consumption and associated emissions.

“In 2014, a total of 79 prematurely bereaved families were forced to deal with the consequences of a fatal road collision. Road fatalities irrevocably change lives. There is no shying away from that. It is also true to say that they have financial implications to the economy. Department for Transport figures suggest this is as high as £1. 95 million per fatal collision.

“Traffic is the biggest cause of death following medical illness in children. Chief among the supporters of this bill are the NI charity PlayBoard. There is no higher value than life and I am in no doubt that the new lower limits will save lives. If we save one life with the passing of this bill then surely that is good legislation

Ramsey meets with experts over speed limit reduction

12 02 2015
SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has met with child safety and play advocates ahead of the introduction of his Road Traffic Speed Limit Bill. Mr Ramsey described the meeting with Playboard NI officials as extremely valuable to the debate.
He said:  “I felt it was important that this debate is framed by informed opinions and built upon the best interests of those at risk in our society. The information provided by Susan and Jacqueline reaffirms why this Bill is a necessity.
“The truth is that a 30mph speed limit is not enough to protect those at risk on our roads. A collision at these speeds for pedestrians, particularly children and older people, can be fatal.
“Reducing the speed limit would not only reduce the damage of any impact but would also give drivers more time to react and prevent tragedy.
“The aim of this Bill is to return residential areas to their residents, keeping the streets safe for their children to play. We cannot afford to maintain the status quo.
“I would like to commend Playboard NI on the valuable contribution they have made to this Bill and for the work they carry out to support children and young people.”

McKillop praises Road Service for work during snowstorms

1 02 2015
Snow Plough 2
SDLP East Antrim Westminster candidate Cllr Margaret Anne McKillop has written to Transport NI to thank their employees and local contractors who played a vital role in keeping the roads in the Glens passible where possible.

She said: “The recent snow storms greatly affected the Glens and if not for the sterling work of the employees of Transport NI and local contractors everything would have frozen to a standstill.

“On behalf of my constituents I informed Transport NI of the deep appreciation they have for those who were outside during the worst of the storms at considerable risk to themselves to ensure that essential traffic continued to move.

“We often take the services of Transport NI (Roads Service) for granted and indeed often complain when they don’t match our expectations.  However in recent days there has been nothing but praise for the work they did gritting and clearing snow off the roads to allow essential and emergency services to operate.

Drivers and Cyclists all need to share the road

20 07 2014

We all share the road – drivers and cyclists alike. So we all need to respect each other’s journey.

Drivers need to take extra care to look out for cyclists, one of the most vulnerable groups of road users, and to anticipate that they may make unexpected manoeuvres.

Cyclists need to take responsibility for their own safety by making other road users aware they are there and by giving plenty of warning of their intended actions.

Don’t forget we all have an equal right to use the road. Be careful and considerate towards other road users by being understanding, patient, staying calm, allowing people plenty of room – and particularly for drivers and cyclists – making eye contact when it’s possible and being courteous to one another

Since 2000 speeding has killed a classroom of our children

20 06 2014

McKillop thanks DRD for tactile paving installation

22 05 2014


Glens SDLP Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop would like to thank DRD Roads Service for installing tactile paving in certain areas in Cushendall.
This paving was installed after a local resident who is blind and uses a guide dog got in contact with Cllr McKillop explaining her problems getting about in the town.
Before the paving was installed the resident often found herself in the middle of the road as there was no indication of the foot path ending.
Cllr McKillop said “Hopefully this will solve the problems and help make her life a lot easier, allowing her to continue to be as independent as possible.”
Glendun Road
“I would also like to call on Roads Service to have a site meeting regards Glendun Road, a number of residents have been in contact with me about safety issues on the road – wanting it resurfaced as it is in very bad state, as well as the possibility of it being widened. I look forward to hearing from Road Service with regards this issue as soon as possible.”

McKeown calls for traffic calming

2 05 2014



Glens SDLP candidate, Joanne McKeown from Loughgiel has called for traffic calming measures in rural villages.

Joanne said

“As a mother of three young children, road safety is an issue that is very close to my heart. I am particularly concerned about the speed of many drivers on rural roads and the need to slow drivers down, especially as they pass through our villages.”

Mrs McKeown states “ Roads Service have  done great work in recent years improving road signage and implementing speed limits in built up areas, however many drivers ignore the warning signs and continue to drive at excessive speed.  There are other drivers who try to remain within the speed limit but due to the nature of some roads, they end up travelling faster than desired without realising it.  I believe that the installation of traffic calming measures to slow traffic down, particularly as it enters and leaves our villages, would remind drivers to slow down and exercise caution.  Reducing speed by just a few miles per hour can greatly impact upon the survival chances for anyone involved in a road traffic collision and we need to do as much as possible to protect all road users. Unless some action is taken to slow the speed of traffic in rural areas, an accident is just waiting to happen.“

Cunningham welcomes proposed 20mph legislation

5 02 2014



Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has commended party colleague Pat Ramsey MLA for the progress made on the Private Members Bill which would see the speed limit on residential unclassified streets reduce from 30mph to 20mph.

 Mr Ramsey presented his proposed legislation to the Assembly’s Regional Development committee on Wednesday morning.

 Councillor Cunningham who has been a strong supporter of the local “Twenty is plenty” campaign and welcomed the pilot 20mph scheme being introduced in the Whitehall area of Ballycastle.

 “The main elements of the scheme at Whitehall will consist of the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in the Whitehall area without the addition of traffic calming features. The scheme aims to manage vehicle speeds and driver behaviour.”

“I believe that by reducing the speed limit on designated restricted roads we could act positively to reduce collisions and fatalities on our roads. Road injuries are amongst the leading causes of loss of life and disability worldwide, and regionally, a reduction in road related death and injury is a major aim of public policy.

“Guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended the introduction of 20mph speed limits and zones as an important way of improving safety

“The proposed legislation allows for the Department of Regional Development to issue exemptions for roads which may be unclassified, but that are major thoroughfares, which would allow roads to retain 30mph status.”


13 10 2013

By playing this video you are agreeing that you are over 15 years old.

While the overall seatbelt wearing rate in Northern Ireland is 98%, there are still isolated occasions when people forget to wear their seatbelt, often in social situations or they unbuckle it for a few minutes to turn and chat, lean forward in the car, show their friend photographs on their mobile phones, etc.

In 2012 seven people who weren’t wearing their seatbelt were killed on our roads. Their lives could have been saved if they had worn a seatbelt.

If you forget to wear your seatbelt, whether it be in the front seat or the back, just ONCE, ask yourself who are you prepared to kill?

Without a seatbelt it only takes ONE trip to kill.

Stop Look Listen Live !!

7 09 2013


Just because they’re back to school doesn’t mean they’re safe. More traffic on the school run means more danger on the roads. So make sure your children always Stop, Look and Listen when crossing the road.

Teach your kids these essential life-saving rules.