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Road safety advert delayed following family’s objection

By Margaret Canning

The broadcast of a road safety TV advert featuring the mother of a man convicted of causing the death of a teenager by dangerous driving has been delayed after objections from the victim's family.



Adam Montague from Limavady (18) died in August 2006, 10 days after the car he was travelling in hit a telegraph pole and ploughed into another vehicle. Margaret Chivers (85), who was travelling in the other car, was also killed.

Uninsured Restricted driver Mark Andrew Ellis (20) was jailed for five-and-a-half years for causing death by dangerous driving. He had lost control of the car coming out of a bend at 60mph despite being restricted to 45mph.

During the trial he claimed something was wrong with the road and it may have been greasy.

His mother was scheduled to appear in a Government ad, made by advertising agency Lyle Bailie, about the impact of the crash on her and her son’s life.

But as reported in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph, Adam Montague’s aunt Ruth O’Hara said the family wanted to stop the advertisement going on air.

Yesterday she said police contacted the family to tell them that broadcast would be suspended after police held discussions with the Department of the Environment and advertising agency Lyle Bailie. Mrs O’Hara said: “They have agreed to withhold it at the minute, but they have not agreed to pull it completely. It will be the DoE’s final decision.

“I am very glad it is going to be withheld for the time being and Gladys (Adam’s mother) is glad, but we are still up in the air.

“Mark Andrew Ellis never showed any remorse until he spent a year in jail, and anyone would be remorseful after that. We would have willingly gone hand in hand with Mrs Ellis after the accident and made an ad, but the fact is he never showed any remorse.

“I told the PSNI chief inspector and production company that I found it really poor that they didn’t contact us in the first instance.”

A spokesman for the DoE said: “This ad is not scheduled to be screened at present. The department remains sensitive to the feelings and suffering of bereaved families, but also to the need to save lives on our roads.”

Mrs O’Hara said she and her sister were due to meet a representative of Lyle Bailie to discuss the advert next week.

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