Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Police to target drivers using mobile phones at the wheel

Superintendent Gerry Murray at the launch of the PSNI's summer road safety campaign yesterday

Drivers who use their mobile phone at the wheel are one of the prime targets of a new PSNI road safety crackdown.

It is the latest bid to reduce the carnage which has already seen 43 people killed on Northern Ireland's roads this year.

Speeding drivers will also be targeted as part of the operation.

Launching the initiative yesterday, Superintendent Gerry Murray, head of road policing with the PSNI, revealed two drivers had been caught travelling at over 110mph last weekend.

"To be blunt, the people detected travelling at these speeds are simply idiotic," Supt Murray said.

"Thankfully, they can look forward to a day in court, where they are likely to receive a fine and lose their licence.

"Receiving a driving ban could have a catastrophic impact on their life, affecting their job or even put them in jeopardy of losing their home, but it is nothing compared to the catastrophic impact of someone losing their life."

The 43 road deaths so far this year is an increase of nine on the same period last year.

Supt Murray said it was a dreadful waste of life.

"When you consider that many, if not the majority, of these deaths are caused by collisions which could have been avoided, it's an appalling waste of life," he added.

"Inattention and speed, or more accurately, excessive speed for the conditions and drink or drug driving are consistently the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured on roads across Northern Ireland."

Over the coming months the PSNI will have additional resources on roads across the province.

Officers have also met with colleagues from An Garda Siochana Traffic Corps to ensure a co- ordinated approach in border counties.

Supt Murray said the school holidays meant road users must be alert for increased numbers of children using the roads, particularly close to parks and leisure facilities.

"Police make no excuse for robustly enforcing the law to make Northern Ireland's roads safer, and that's exactly what we will be doing in the months ahead, but our role is very much secondary," he added.

"All road users must share the responsibility to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads.

"All we ask is that drivers slow down, do not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt, drive with greater care and attention and don't use mobile phones while driving."

Further reading

Police officer faced punishment for 'eating an ice cream as he drove' 

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