Dear Sir - In a letter in the "Impartial Reporter" of June 26 entitled "Road safety paramount during parades", Mr Alex Elliott made some very valid points.
The safety of all at parading events, whether they are participants, spectators or other road users, is a key issue.
Police and organisers do endeavour to minimise any potential encounters between those on foot and those in vehicles, but those attending or encountering these events need to take some responsibility as well .
That means drivers being patient and taking the time to allow onlookers and those on parade to clear the roadway before moving off or continuing a journey.
One of the key problems we encounter is spectators who wish to leave prior to the end of the event. Many drive their vehicles out of parking spaces along the route and through the later stages of the parade. This is largely what Mr. Elliott may have been referring to, and is inconsiderate and dangerous.
I wish to appeal to all road users to show patience and wait a few minutes longer to allow the event to finish and the streets to clear . This results in the quicker and safer dispersal of everyone involved.
To those not directly attending events, I ask you to understand that the summers in Northern Ireland involve a lot of community events, such as festivals, parades and carnivals. Please plan your journey accordingly. This may mean deciding to take an alternative route to avoid congestion; it certainly means taking account of the advice of event marshals or police officers.
Pedestrians, too, have a role to play by being mindful of vehicles; sticking to pavements; and ensuring it is safe before trying to cross the road. Care and consideration by everyone will help ensure these events begin, continue and end safely.
Yours faithfully, Chief Inspector Sue Steen Area Commander, PSNI