Belfast Telegraph

Crash simulator drives home speeding message in Northern Ireland

By Sophie Inge

Young drivers in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to try out a new car crash simulator to discourage them from speeding.

The simulator will give those in the vehicle the sensation of both driving and being involved in a crash.

It will be made available to schools and community groups by Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

During 2015/16, there were 6,150 road traffic collisions which caused injury.

These collisions resulted in 9,654 casualties of whom 75 were killed, 707 were seriously injured and 8,872 were slightly injured.

Speeding was cited as the main reason for most accidents.

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech said: "Recognising that road users under 25 years of age are most at risk of killing or seriously injuring themselves or others on our roads, this initiative is aimed to positively influence those drivers who are about to start out on what will hopefully be a long and safe motoring career.

"We believe that the immersive and interactive experience this simulator provides realistically informs users about the dangers young motorists can face, how quickly things can go wrong and how lives can be shattered. One of the hardest parts of any police officer's role is breaking the news of the death or life-changing injury of a loved one to relatives. It is especially heartbreaking when it involves a young person.

"Most road traffic collisions can be avoided and I hope that after experiencing the simulator, young people understand the consequences of their actions.

"I hope they realise that they are not indestructible, that they are as vulnerable on the roads as the next person, and that they must respect the roads and all road users."

Justice Minister Claire Sugden said: "I congratulate Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership on the launch of this innovative, engaging and potentially lifesaving project.

"The car crash simulator will be enormously valuable in helping to educate all drivers, especially young drivers, about the dangers they face on the roads and the potentially devastating consequences of actions such as using their mobile phone whilst driving."

Funded by the Department of Justice, the simulator was launched yesterday by the chairman of the Belfast PCSP, Councillor John Hussey, Justice Minister Claire Sugden and PSNI representatives.

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