Belfast Telegraph

Our roads are dangerous enough at best of times without idiot drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel

Editor's Viewpoint

One of the most important issues at any time is road safety, but it is particularly pressing at Christmas.

In the last 24 hours there have been two more road deaths, and one victim has been seriously injured.

While we cannot comment on the details of any accident, it would appear that speed and careless driving often play an important role.

In some cases the blatant disregard for safety amounts to sheer lunacy, including the use of mobile phones.

Today we publish a report by an ambulance driving instructor who has been shocked by drivers using their phones, and in some cases texting while travelling at high speeds.

In one case an ambulance, with its blue lights flashing, pulled over to make way for another vehicle tail-gating it, only for the crew to witness that the impatient driver was texting.

In another case a young woman travelling at high speed was scrolling down her phone screen.

So far this year 66 people have died on our roads. On Wednesday alone the Ambulance Service had 33 call-outs to collisions, which was almost three times more than usual.

Earlier this week the PSNI revealed that 241 motorists had been caught drink-driving in the past month after police used new powers to carry out random breath tests.

Those involved in accidents and their families, as well as the police, clergy, and ambulance and medical services, know the pain caused.

Glendermott priest Father Michael Canny describes in today's paper the heartache of the family of Amy Loughrey, who died in a road crash on Thursday night.

He said: "A family that should have been celebrating Christmas will now have to prepare for a funeral on St Stephen's Day."

Sadly, as another year draws to a close, too many people are losing their lives or facing life-changing injuries as a result of careless or stupid driving. It really is time to heed the dangers on our roads.

Belfast Telegraph

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