Shocking NI road safety advert banned

By Fiona O’Brien

A Northern Ireland road safety advert has been banned before the watershed as is deemed too brutal to be watched by younger viewers.

The minute-long advert shows a car plough into a group of primary school children on a school trip.

It is to highlight the fact that 28 children have died in road accidents since 2000, enough to fill a school classroom.

In the advert a class of children simultaneously leave their school for a day out as a young man goes about his day, with an acoustic version of Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child o’ Mine playing in the background.

He loses control of his car on a rural road before flipping over a hedge and onto the unsuspecting class having a picnic.

Broadcast watchdogs deemed the advert unsuitable to be shown before the 9pm watershed, but officials have backed the campaign.

Northern Ireland’s Department for the Environment said the advert was essential as the fear of killing a child is a proven deterrent for speeding.

They state that the advert is necessary as there is an apparent philosophy among drivers that speed is not a major factor in causing road traffic accidents.

“Speeding is a result of human behaviour, a choice a driver makes,” said Road Safety minister Mark Durkan in a press release.

“In a crash, speeding makes everything worse. Combine speed with human error or the unexpected and the consequences will be tragic.

“We all, as road users, have to take responsibility for ourselves and other road users.”


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