Belfast Telegraph

Child speeding toll plea to drivers

Enough children to fill a classroom have died due to speeding in Northern Ireland since 2000.

Dozens of young people lost their lives in what should be a "wake up call" for drivers, it was revealed.

PSNI assistant chief constable Stephen Martin said: "The real tragedy is most, if not all fatalities, could have been prevented."

Research shows that speeding drivers thought they were in control - but environment minister Mark Durkan said the consequences were uncontrollable.

Mr Durkan said: "Speeding is shockingly shameful. People are losing their lives long before they have the chance to fulfil their potential.

"Families are being destroyed forever."

He said those most at risk of causing speed-related deaths and serious injuries were 17-24 year old men, followed by men aged 25-34.

The SDLP MLA added: "Many factors such as peer pressure, the sense of freedom and escape and impatience all stimulate an increase in risky behaviour."

Since 2000, 28 children have lost their lives due to speeding.

Mr Durkan said drivers tended to blame an unexpected event for a collision rather than their own behaviour when driving too fast for the conditions. There was also evidence that drivers did not think faster speeds had any more impact in a crash.

The DoE has launched a new road safety campaign.

PSNI assistant chief constable Stephen Martin said: "This advertisement depicts very clearly and very starkly the risks involved when speed is a factor.

"Most of you will find it shocking but the reality is drivers need to be fully aware of the potential consequences of their actions.

"When it comes to keeping people safe on the roads we all need to take responsibility."

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