Inspectorate welcomes action by Police Service to improve road safety

A new report on Roads Policing in Northern Ireland published today (18 November) by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI), has welcomed the progress made in this critical area over the last two years.

The report assesses the work undertaken by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) since 2008 to progress eight of the nine recommendations which it had responsibility for that were included in CJ1’s original inspection report.
“This report acknowledges the effort made to date by the PSNI to take forward these recommendations which aimed to strengthen the way Road Policing was managed and implemented,” said Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.
“Our original inspection report recommended that the PSNI should implement the speed thresholds applied in England and Wales. Inspectors welcome the work that has taken place in relation to this recommendation since June this year when the PSNI began to implement the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) speed thresholds.
“While Inspectors would have wished to see a quicker response to this recommendation, I commend the PSNI for the steps it has taken and the introduction of driver education and speed awareness courses as an option for motorists who are detected committing lower level speeding offences.
Mr McGuigan also welcomed the increase in co-operation and engagement between PSNI officers and colleagues in An Garda Síochána. 
“Inspectors welcome the positive relationships that have developed and the joint operations that have been carried out between the two policing services with the aim of improving road safety in the border areas,” said Mr McGuigan.
The Deputy Chief Inspector however said the Inspectors were disappointed to find a properly resourced unit to investigate fatal and serious collisions had only recently been set up.
“Inspectors viewed this recommendation to be of critical importance. While we welcome the attention the current Head of Roads Policing has given to taking it forward, we believe the Collision Investigation Units could have been introduced sooner.
“The resourcing of the new units should also be monitored on an on-going basis. This will ensure that if an increase in the current number of fatal and serious road traffic collisions occurs in future years, these units will have the capacity to carry out additional investigations.
In conclusion, Mr McGuigan indicated that should there be a desire to lower the drink drive limit in Northern Ireland, this should be done simultaneously with the Republic of Ireland where legislation has already been passed to lower the legal limit to 50mgs from September 2011.