Cushendall and Crankill Roads high on speed detections charts

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Tuesday 19 July 2022 15:38

The number of speeding offences in Northern Ireland has hit a record high and two locations in the Ballymena area are near the top of the list when it comes to detections.

More than 53,000 incidents were recorded in 2021 — 145 a day on average.

In Ballymena town there were 413 detections on the Cushendall Road with a whopping 620 detections on the Crankill Road dual carriageway, Glarryford.

But these statistics were dwafed by one stretch of road in Mid and East Antrim which saw 5,127 detections in just 12 months. The Shore Road, from Eden near Carrickfergus to Belfast, saw 5,127 detections last year — the most anywhere.

The figures emerge in the latest report from the Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership.

It shows the number of speeding offences increased by 15% year-on-year.

The report reveals that a total of 53,512 speeding detections were made by the Road Safety Partnership in 2021, the highest in a calendar year since the scheme began in 2004.

The highest speed recorded in 2021 was 120mph on the A29 (60mph limit) road near Cookstown.

Most speed offences (34,948) occurred in 30mph zones. One motorist was caught doing 73mph in a 30mph zone.

Those caught speeding by a camera are typically handed a conditional fixed penalty notice, which carries a £60 fine.

However, the PSNI said the consequences can be far greater.

Head of road policing, Chief Inspector Graham Dodds, said: “Excessive speed for the conditions is the single biggest killer of people on our roads.

“The reality is that cars rarely cause collisions and roads rarely cause collisions: people cause collisions.

“During 2021 our collision investigations revealed excessive speed to have been in the top three causes of crashes which kill and seriously injure on our roads.

“Removing excess speed from the road safety equation should be the easiest thing that every road user can do. If we all stop speeding, more people live. If we all stop speeding, fewer people have to contend with life-changing injuries.”

The number of detections in 2021 was almost five times that recorded in 2004. The main reason was the reduction in the speed threshold at which a driver can be detected speeding in 2010, and again in 2012.

Mobile speed cameras accounted for 89% of all detections.

Three fixed (permanent) cameras made 3,276 detections, while the average speed cameras made 2,239 detections.

Apart from the Shore Road site, other hotspots include the Parkway to Belvoir Road stretch of the A55 outer ring (2,271 incidents); the Frosses/Crankhill Road in Co Antrim (1,869), and Antrim Road, Belfast (1,818).

Almost two-thirds (65%) of speed related detections were on 30mph roads. A further 9,273 were on 40mph roads, including a driver caught doing 90mph. Another 5,885 detections were on 60mph roads.

Mr Dodds said police were working hard to address speeding.

He explained: “Our road safety education officers are in schools and youth clubs across communities every week helping young people understand what it really means to stay safe on our roads.

“For those drivers who ignore the road safety message, they are likely to encounter local police and road policing officers on the motorways, main roads and country roads on any day of the week carrying out speed enforcement operations.

“For some of these offenders, the margin of their speed may lead to an invitation to the speed awareness course, where we seek to encourage and convince motorists that taking responsibility for their own actions will benefit everyone.”​​​​​​​

According to the latest PSNI statistics, 18 people have died on our roads this year.

That is down from 22 at the same point last year, and 29 in 2020.

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