Coleraine Borough Council in working in partnership with the Policing and Community Safety Partnership is calling on motorists to join its new road safety campaign, ‘Switch Off to Switch On’, to help stamp out mobile phone usage while driving.
The Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor George Duddy said, ‘Council is appealing to road users to be safe on our roads and ‘Switch Off’ your mobile phone while driving to ‘Switch On’ to the hazards of the road.
“All road users have a responsibility to ensure their actions do not impact on the safety of others. It is a crime to use your mobile phone while driving and that includes using your phone when you are stopped at traffic lights and/or queuing in traffic. There is no excuse for breaking the law.
“The ‘Switch Off to Switch On’ campaign, is encouraging road users to reduce their risk of distraction and help reduce the number of traffic accidents that happen in the Borough by turning off their phone before switching on their vehicle.”
Pearl Mahon, Council’s Health and Well-Being Officer, added: “Research conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory has suggested that texting whilst driving can have more repercussions than driving under the influence of alcohol.
“As a result of these findings, Coleraine Borough Council has developed this campaign of awareness to encourage road users to pay more attention when using the roads to ensure their own and others safety.
“Most people have a mobile phone and while texting from a handheld device is already illegal, the use of hands free kits is not but is still considered a major distraction for a driver, which if used while driving, could lead to fatal consequences.
“Council is encouraging motorists through this campaign to commit to a New Year’s Resolution on 1st January 2015 and pledge their part in ensuring the road safety of others. Switch off your mobile phone to switch on to the road.”
Further details on the ‘Switch Off to Switch On’ campaign is available from Pearl Mahon, Health and Well-Being Officer on 028 70347171 or can be found on Council’s website at www.colerainebc.gov.uk.