More than a third of deaths on Northern Ireland’s roads are due to driver carelessness, the Department of the Environment has said.
Over the last five years 116 people have lost their lives due to lack of concentration, nearly 40% of the total.
Young drivers often don’t have the confidence to challenge horseplay and succumb to group peer pressure so that they don’t spoil the funMark H Durkan
Young drivers are particularly prone to distraction, particularly from youthful passengers.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “What we are clearly saying here is that the car is not a mobile living room.”
Of 298 road deaths from 2010 to 2014, 116 were due to lack of concentration.
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The minister said young passengers and young drivers could be a lethal combination.
“Young drivers often don’t have the confidence to challenge horseplay and succumb to group peer pressure so that they don’t spoil the fun.
“My message to them is: do have the confidence to say ‘wise up’. Your car, your rules.”
Between 2010 and 2014, there were four people killed or seriously injured and 26 slight injuries on the roads where the use of a mobile phone was the main cause.
Mr Durkan launched two new road safety advertisements addressing driver distraction and inattention.