Police have launched an investigation after terrifying footage of a car driving the wrong way along the A4 dual carriageway between Dungannon and Ballygawley was released online.
The footage, which contains strong language, was posted on the Idiot Drivers Northern Ireland Facebook page. It highlights life on Northern Ireland’s roads by exposing those who may not necessarily live by the rules of the Highway Code.
The car, thought to be a Volvo, was filmed on the wrong side of the A4 just before the M1 at around 12.30pm on Sunday, the page owner said.
At one point it almost caused a head-on collision with another car.
The incident is the latest in a long line of near fatal accidents caused by drivers who drive their car in the wrong direction on the road, which cost £146million to build.
When the A4 motorway was opened in late 2010, a programme of new safety measures had to be implemented after more than 20 cases were reported of vehicles travelling towards oncoming traffic.
The near-misses were blamed on motorists following old driving habits on the new road, and on Sat Navs that had not been updated.
New signs were put up at all junctions to raise awareness of which direction to drive. However, the Department for Regional Development was forced to go a step further by installing more signs, white lining and cones in a bid to stop future incidents. “This is an extremely serious matter,” said the DRD minister Danny Kennedy, at the time.
The A4 currently carries around 20,000 vehicles per day at its eastern end, near the M1, and around 16,000 vehicles per day at Ballygawley.
Police in Dungannon are asking motorists using the new A4 dual carriageway to pay special attention to road signs.
Chief Inspector Roy Robinson, said: “We have had several reports in the past of motorists joining from side roads and then turning onto the wrong carriageway, and more recently we received a report that a vehicle was travelling on the westbound carriageway on the A4, in the wrong direction on 1st January. It is thought this happened at around 12.44pm.”
Police would be keen to speak to anyone who witnessed this incident. The number to call is 101.
“We cannot over emphasis the potential dangers and would urge motorists to be mindful of road signage on this stretch of road. Driving the ‘wrong’ way along a dual carriageway is incredibly dangerous, given that traffic on the road can be travelling at up to 70mph.”