Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has appealed to road users to take care on the roads in light of recent tragedies.
Mr Durkan said: “I am very concerned about every death and injury on our roads. So far this year, 20 people have been killed on our roads. Seven of those have been in the first two weeks of April. My sincere sympathy is with all of the bereaved families and the communities affected by these needless tragedies.
“These deaths serve as a reminder of the danger we all face when we use the road, it is the most dangerous thing all of us do every day. We take it for granted, but we cannot afford to do so. We need to take personal responsibility for how we behave when we use the road. We need to be extra vigilant, particularly as the brighter evenings will mean that more people are out and about. All of us who are driving need to look out for vulnerable road users.
“Those of us who are cycling, riding a motorcycle or walking need to make sure that we are always visible and that we take care.”
The Minister added: “As we see far too often, the brutal reality of road death is that normality can turn to tragedy in an instant. This reminds us that we must never, ever drop our guard. I ask everyone to pay attention, slow down, wear your seatbelt and avoid driving when over-tired or if you have taken drink or drugs.
“If you follow this simple advice, you could save your own life, the life of a friend or family member or some other innocent road user. None of us set out to kill or maim, but it is happening too often.”