Police appeal to drivers to slow down

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Four people have died on the roads in the Lisburn and Castlereagh District in 2015; two less fatalities from the same period last year

Inattention while in control of any vehicle can lead to a collision, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland who are urging all motorists to ‘Drive Aware’ this month, and to not get distracted on their journey.

According to Chief Inspector Derek McCamley, the numbers of motorists caught using mobile phones while driving has gone up.

CI McCamley said: “Almost everyone has a mobile phone or device of some description, that they use to communicate with others via text or social media.

“I want drivers to switch them off, before getting in the car. Absolutely nothing should come before your safety and the safety of others.

“The numbers of motorists using mobile phones to make calls, texts or social media updates whilst driving has risen and careless / distracted driving is expected to be the biggest single cause of death and injuries on roads as a result in 2015.”

He continued, “Using a mobile phone whilst driving increases the risk of a collision by a factor of four and drivers are reminded that not only are there serious risks by being distracted by these mobile devices whilst in control of a vehicle, but also there are penalties and consequences to face for breaking the law.

“This is not just about mobile phones. Many things can distract the driver. Children playing or arguing can cause a parent to look in the rear view mirror at the wrong time. In that split second, you aren’t looking ahead for danger.

“You could be on a motorway doing 70mph. Can you imagine the devastation if you veered into another lane or came across a much slower vehicle? If you have children in the car, don’t let them distract you.

“It’s wintertime. Darkness stays longer in the morning and comes earlier in the evening. It can take time for a driver to adjust. Low light conditions require more concentration. Be aware of your surroundings, approach junctions and pedestrian crossings with care and attention,” said Derek McCamley.

“I want you to look at the road ahead while your vehicle is moving.

“Use mirrors to ensure there is a safe distance between you and other motorists. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t get distracted by passengers. We want to help keep people safe.”