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Driver carelessness accounts for more than third of road deaths in NI

Two new DOE adverts will be aired from today aimed at tackling carelessness among young drivers

DRIVER carelessness has led to more than a third of deaths on Northern Ireland's roads over the past five years.

Figures released by the Department of the Environment (DOE) show that 116 people have lost their lives due to lack of concentration - nearly 40 per cent of the total number of deaths.

Statistics also show there were four people killed or seriously injured and 26 slight injuries on the roads where the use of a mobile phone was the main cause from 2010 to 2014.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said young drivers are particularly prone to distraction, particularly from youthful passengers.

In a bid to tackle driver carelessness, particularly among young people, two powerful new DOE Road Safety adverts are launched today addressing driver distraction and inattention.

Mr Durkan said: "What we are clearly saying here is that the car is not a mobile living room.

"Young drivers often don't have the confidence to challenge horseplay and succumb to group peer pressure so that they don't spoil the fun.

"My message to them is: do have the confidence to say 'wise up'. Your car, your rules."

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd added: "The frightening reality is that the scenes depicted in these DOE advertisements happen with alarming regularity on roads across Northern Ireland.

"Avoidable collisions which have killed and seriously injured people have occurred in part, because a driver has not been paying proper attention to driving, whether that means being distracted by passengers or using a mobile phone.

"We all share the responsibility to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads."

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