This week’s fatal road accident outside Newtownbutler brings it home to all us once again, how precious life is and the dangers when using the roads.

As we approach Christmas, which is a time of busy roads and often poor weather conditions, the PSNI have urged motorists to take care.

The police have already been proactive a few weeks ago, launching a major road safety operation which resulted in the arrests of 49 motorists for various offences including drivng at excess speed, no insurance and driving carelessly.

Weather creates particular problems for motorists at this time of year and it is not always frost and snow which are the hazards. Fog as we experienced last week and bright sunny days when the sun is low in the sky also pose dangers.

While mornings and evenings would appear to be the time of year when there is most risk, motorists should not always assume that daylight hours are safe either.

In their pre-Christmas message, the PSNI want motorists to stop speeding, to pay greater attention to the roads rather than their mobile phone, and to have their vehicles in a roadworthy condition.

As one police inspector stated, “I am disappointed that some drivers decided not to heed the speed limits and didn’t take appropriate cognisance of the conditions in which they driving. Drivers need to be more responsible behind the wheel. Watch your speed, do not talk on a mobile phone, do not drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The PSNI want to keep people safe and we will continue to take a firm line against those who flout the laws of the roads.

While the circumstances of this latest accident have not yet been established, it has robbed a family of a loved one this Christmas.

We all need to concentrate on the roads during these shorter days and improve the safety of not only ourselves but all other road users as well.