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Region sees road death numbers fall

Last year saw the lowest number of road deaths recorded in Northern Ireland for almost 80 years, according to statistics.

Environment minister Sammy Wilson said that a total of 106 people were killed, seven fewer than in 2007 and the lowest number since records began in 1931.

The cumulative effect should also work towards reducing car insurance premiums in the region.

Mr Wilson said: "This continued improvement is due to our sustained efforts... to deliver a programme of road safety education, engineering and enforcement initiatives.

"Although the trend in road deaths is heading in the right direction, it must also be recognised there are still too many people dying needlessly on our roads.

"Our thoughts are with the families of all those who so tragically lost their lives in collisions during the past year."

But he warned that the number of child deaths rose from five in 2007 to seven in 2008, with four of those passengers in a car. He went on to advise parents that they must ensure children are always safely secured while travelling - regardless of the length of the journey.

During 2007, there was an increase in the number of motorcyclist deaths to 25. And while during 2008 the number fell again to 15, motorcyclists continue to be over-represented in the statistics.

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