Majority of people feel unsafe walking on Northern Ireland roads
The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland has revealed that 79% of people feel unsafe when out for a walk, and recent statistics on road traffic accidents involving pedestrians show they have good reason.
Just 34% of people in Northern Ireland walk for twenty minutes or more every day, with 17% of people never walking anywhere, the survey revealed.
Among the various weather related reasoning for staying indoors, many of those surveyed highlighted footpaths as a main concern when walking. Around 16% of those surveyed said that better lighting is needed along roads at night, and a further 11% said that they would be more active if there were more footpaths or existing ones were better maintained.
An additional 10% said that they would like to see footpaths kept free of parked cars.
Of those surveyed who stated that they never walked anywhere, the primary reason given was due to heavy traffic, cited by 29% of those surveyed. Motorists driving without due consideration for pedestrians (27%), speeding traffic (25%), and poorly lit footpaths (21%) were also responsible for people leaving their walking shoes at home.
The survey was commissioned by the Department for Infrastructure in conjunction with their own research into danger zones for pedestrians using Northern Ireland’s roads. A spokesperson for the Department said that they are hoping to encourage people in Northern Ireland to walk more, and to do that then department officials need to understand current walking habits, as well as what exactly would encourage people to walk more.
These findings come the same day that new figures, released by the Department for Infrastructure and incorporating information from the PSNI’s Road Traffic Collision statistics, have revealed that nearly 900 pedestrians were killed or injured on Northern Ireland’s roads over a period spanning five years. They emphasise once again that road traffic safety is an issue for all of us, whether it be motorists or passengers.
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