26/09/2002

Pensioner dies in south Belfast road accident

A pensioner has been killed in a road accident in south Belfast this morning.

At around 7.15am, the 78-year-old was walking along the Ormeau Road when he was hit by a van at the junction of Knockbracken Park.

He has been named as William Peacock, of Annadale Avenue in Belfast.

This latest tragic death adds to what has been a disastrous month for road safety in Northern Ireland, as five people were killed in road traffic accidents over the space of one weekend earlier this month. Today's accident also comes at the end of Road Safety Week, and shock statistics released at the campaign's launch on Tuesday revealed that, to the year ending March 2002, 37 pedestrians, 52 car drivers, 38 car passengers, 12 motorcyclists and 12 bus drivers were killed on Northern Ireland's roads. The UK has also been found to have one of the worst child pedestrian fatality rates in Europe at 2.6 deaths per 100,000 - only Sweden has a poorer record.

However, a Northern Ireland executive statistical report found that there were some inroads being made into the rate of death and injury here.

The ‘Northern Ireland Transport Statistics 2001-2002’, which was released by the Department of Regional Development today, shows that there were fewer people dying on Northern Ireland's roads than at the same time last year. The report said that between 2000-01 and 2001-02, the total number of road traffic injury accidents decreased by 15%, from 8,361 to 7,133. Over the same period the number of road casualties also fell by 14% from 14,584 to 12,603.

The publication also contains information on vehicle registrations, driver and vehicle testing, road network, road freight, public transport and air transport in Northern Ireland.

(GMcG)

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