Causeway Chronicle

British Heart Foundation NI backs road safety campaign and highlights ‘two ways to save a life’ 

Fearghal McKinney, head of BHF Northern Ireland, signs up to the Department for Infrastructure’s ‘Share the Road to Zero’ campaign, which aims to reduce road deaths by encouraging more responsibility on the road. Included are new driver Lucy McConville and Lynda Hurley, DfI’s head of Road Safety Promotions.

British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland (BHF NI) has pledged its commitment to improving road safety by signing up to the ‘Share the Road to Zero’ campaign.

The Department for Infrastructure’s ‘Share the Road to Zero’ aims to reduce road deaths by encouraging us to take more responsibility and care on the roads.

BHF NI, which funds research into heart and circulatory diseases, has joined a growing list of organisations pledging to ‘Share the Road to Zero’ and is encouraging others to do the same.

The Northern Ireland Football League, Ulster GAA, PSNI, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Sustrans NI and councils have also backed the campaign.

Seventy one people lost their lives on roads in the north in 2023, compared to 55 deaths in 2022 and 50 in 2021 and many hundreds of people have been seriously injured.

Fearghal McKinney, Head of BHF NI said: “We’ve chosen to partner on the Road to Zero campaign to encourage road users to take the opportunity to commit to two ways to save a life; to be a safe road user and to learn CPR.

“There are around 1,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in Northern Ireland. Tragically, less than one in ten people survive, a statistic the BHF is determined to improve by giving everyone the opportunity to learn CPR. Our free and innovative online training tool RevivR can teach CPR and the correct steps of defibrillator use in just 15 minutes.

“Today I am signing the pledge to Share the Road to Zero on behalf of BHF NI, committing to acting in the safest possible way on our roads every day, and I encourage other organisations and individuals to do the same.

“I am also asking for people to take 15 minutes out to try out our tool RevivR.  All you need is a phone and a cushion and it could help you save a life, a loved one.”

Lynda Hurley, head of Road Safety Promotion at the Department for Infrastructure said: “I welcome this opportunity to work partnership with BHF Northern Ireland, who work to help save lives every day by raising money to help fund research into heart and circulatory diseases. I thank them for signing the ‘Share the Road to Zero’ pledge, and I hope this encourages others to do the same.

“The evidence shows that more than 95% of road traffic collisions, where someone is killed or seriously injured, are due to human error. This means, deaths and serious injuries on our roads are not an inevitable consequence of using the roads. The majority of collisions can be avoided.

One of the best ways to help ensure safety on our roads and fulfil our long-term goal of eliminating death and serious injury by 2050, is by changing our behaviour when using the roads. As road users we all have a personal responsibility to behave in a way that keeps ourselves and others safe. The sad reality is that if we do not change our own attitudes when we are using the roads, our death toll will continue to increase.

“If we pay attention and stay focused, drive at the appropriate speed for the road or the conditions, never drink alcohol or take drugs before driving and always wear a seatbelt, lives will be saved. Together we can make a difference and move towards zero deaths on our roads by taking the Road Safety Pledge.

“This is also a key opportunity to make that choice to take 15 minutes to learn how to save a life by trying BHF’s CPR tool RevivR.”

Pledging to ‘Share the Road to Zero’ is an online click of a button via www.sharetheroadtozero.com and can be done on an individual basis or as an organisation. Once you have signed up, you will receive regular and free road safety tips.

To try RevivR, go to bhf.org.uk/revivr

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Maurice Bradley