‘Drive aware and pay attention’, Newry police urge motorists

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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Inattention while in control of any vehicle can lead to a collision causing serious injury or death and the PSNI is urging all motorists to “Drive Aware” this month and not get distracted on their journey. So far this year in Northern Ireland 60 people have died on our roads as a result of a road traffic collision. Newry, Mourne and Down District Commander, Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said, “Almost everyone has a mobile phone or ddriving1evice 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 on your Facebook page, twitter feed or Instagram account 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 revealed. “Using a mobile phone whilst driving increases the risk of a collision by a factor of four. 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.” He continued, “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 from motorists, including motorcyclists. Be aware of your surroundings, approach junctions and pedestrian crossings with utmost care and attention,” said Superintendent Walls. The District Commander made a direct appeal to road users; “I want you to look at the road ahead while your vehicle is moving. Use your mirrors to ensure there is a safe distance between you and other motorists or when you are making a manoeuvre. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t reach down to get something from the passenger foot well. “Don’t get distracted by passengers. Don’t look down to check the radio station you are listening to. If you need to do something that has nothing to do with properly controlling your vehicle, pull over to somewhere safe and do it while you are stationary.” He added, “We want to help keep people safe. On the roads, on the footpaths, behind the wheel or behind the handlebars. Please heed our advice and don’t become a statistic.”
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