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The Road Policing Unit leads the Police Service of Northern Ireland's commitment to policing together for safe, secure and efficient roads. We work together with statutory and voluntary partners to achieve:

  • Safe roads, free from harm
  • Secure roads free from the threat of serious crime and terrorism
  • Efficient roads that promote public confidence and satisfaction

As part of Operational Support Department, Road Policing is based in Portadown, Omagh, Enniskillen, Maydown and Antrim providing cover for all roads including the strategic motorway network in Northern Ireland.

Our Aims

  • To reduce the number of people killed in road collisions.
  • To reduce the number of people seriously injured in road collisions.
  • To reduce the number of children and young people killed or seriously injured in road collisions.
  • To ensure we have safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles, safe road users and deliver a first-class post-crash response.

What we do

Road Policing Unit has numerous specialist teams within the unit. These consist of:


  • Based at Sprucefield, the Abnormal Loads and Vehicle Recovery Units provide a conduit for the haulage industry to comply with notification legislation for the largest loads with, weight or length, travelling on our road network on a daily basis. In addition they also act as a link between the police, the managing agency and the recovery operators for vehicle recoveries.

  • Traffic Management Unit's responsibilities include:

    • Presenting a police perspective
    • Attending public forums
    • Major event traffic arrangements and provision of advice on roadwork signing

    They aim to: 

    • Reduce the number of collisions on our roads 
    • Environmental improvements
    • Improved access
    • Improved traffic flows

    There techniques include:

    • Physical Alterations - including changes to road layout, provision of crossing facilities, provision of bus stops and shelters, reallocation of existing highways, changes to road levels or texture
    • Regulatory Measures - including speed limits, one way systems, parking limitations, weight restrictions
    • Provision of Information - including traffic signs and lane markings, signposting car parks, erection of street names, matrix and electronic information, utilisation of media
  • Road Policing Development is the organisation's central point of contact for Road Policing policy and legislation.

    As part of this role, the team conduct research and procurement of traffic enforcement equipment in order to comply with legislative requirements set out by the Home Office and The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).

    The team also has six dedicated Road Education Officers that are located across the organisation. They are solely responsible for the delivery of road safety advice to all road users, concentrating mainly on secondary education. Road Education Officers deliver and promote a programme of measures on road safety in your local area including Bikesafe.

    Road Education Officers assist through education within schools and vulnerable adult groups within the community. These officers lead the delivery of road safety education for children at nursery school to young adults at University. This incorporates the "right to drive right to life" resource pack and the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Roadsafe Roadshow.

    Bikesafe officer
  • Based at Sprucefield, Lisburn, the Collision Investigation Unit is staffed by Road Policing officers, and currently consists of an Inspector, Sergeants, Constables and support staff. They provide coverage between 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and operate a call out system after hours and over the weekend for all of Northern Ireland when dealing with road death investigations, 

    To ensure compliance with the Human Rights Act all fatal road traffic collisions will be dealt with as an unlawful killing until the contrary is proven. There is a recognition now that in many circumstances the investigation of a road death is equivalent in complexity to that of a homicide.

  • The Road Policing Unit also has specialist officers and teams that include: 

    • Fixed Penalty Processing and Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership
    • VIP Motorcycle Escort teams that deal with high profile escorts like the Giro d’Italia, Watercannon/Public Support Units
    • Forensic Vehicle Examiners
    • Trained officers in dealing with the Carriage of dangerous goods (CDG)
  • The ANPR Intercept Team has been established with advanced driver officers drawn from the Road Policing Unit who have undergone the latest specialist tactical pursuit and containment (TPAC) tactical training.

    AIT will use vehicles equipped with sophisticated digital technology, to automatically detect the vehicle registrations of those committing or suspected of committing crime as they move around the Northern Ireland road network.

    ANPR Interceptor Vehicles
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland and Translink have a well-established successful partnership in place to serve the community in Northern Ireland.

    The Safe Transport Team is a dedicated team of police officers who work alongside Translink staff to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour at stations and on-board public transport.

    Safe Transport Team
    Safe Transport Team on the Glider

The Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership

The Northern Ireland Road Safety Partnership has evolved from the Northern Ireland Safety Camera Scheme introduced into Northern Ireland on 1st July 2003.

The Partnership includes representatives from the Department of the Environment, Department of Regional Development (Transport NI), The Police Service of Northern Ireland, The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service and the Department of Justice.

The aim of the Partnership is:

  • To support the Road Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland 2010 - 20 by reducing speeding and the number of injury collisions on the roads of Northern Ireland by targeted enforcement using a range of approved safety camera technology.
  • To support the Road Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland 2010 - 20 by delivery of educational Campaigns, initiatives and direct interventions.
Learn more about the Road Safety Partnership

Common Causes of Road Traffic Accidents

The type of behaviour that causes the most collisions, injuries and deaths on our roads are:

  • Careless and distracted driving
  • Drink or drug driving
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt
  • Using a mobile phone whilst driving

Witnessed an incident?

It's vital that every road user plays their part in keeping themselves safe and watching out for others.

If you see an example of poor driving behaviour on the road, don’t be tempted to react or try to deal with yourself. Too often a mistake on the road can escalate into a “road rage” incident that helps nobody.

So keep calm, try to note the following and call 101.

  • Location, date and time
  • Registration mark (VRM) of the vehicle involved
  • Any description of the driver
  • Did anyone else witness the incident? Can you note their VRM?
  • What exactly happened?
  • Consider are you happy to make a statement or would you be content with having the other driver spoken to?

Further Information

Have you been involved in a road traffic collision?

We have shared some helpful advice about what to do if you are involved in a road traffic collision.

Drink or drug driving

Do you know someone who habitually drink drives and is a danger to themselves and other innocent road users? Report them in confidence to Crimestoppers or on 101.

Road safety concerns in your community

Have you road safety concerns that affect your neighbourhood or school? If so, please contact your local policing team who can arrange to visit the area to ascertain what enforcement options are available. They may also seek advice from our Traffic Management or the Road Education Officers who may be able to assist. If the issue involves parking enforcement, then you should contact the Parking Attendants within DfI for assistance.

The police work with our partners in DfI as well as many other statutory and voluntary groups who have an interest in road safety issues.

Officer showing motorbike with child