Road Victim Named As Driver 'Curfew' Debated

The man killed in a road accident in Loughgall, County Armagh overnight has been named.

He was James Ignatius Fitzgerald - who went by the first name Seamus - and was from the Oakfield area of the Moy in County Tyrone.

The 43-year-old's car left the road near Ardress House soon after midnight. No one else was in the car at the time.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash to contact them. They also want to speak to anyone who stopped at the scene of the crash.

Since the beginning of this year, 32 people have died in accidents on Northern Ireland's roads.

The death has highlighted a local move to restrict young drivers nighttime activities.

Parliament's Transport Select Committee originally wanted the Government to impose more regulations targeting young drivers to combat Britain's horrific young driver death toll.

Some of their recommended changes included a minimum 12-month probationary learner driver period, raising the age of driving unaccompanied to 18 and better hazard perception training.

But what would effectively be a curfew is also being mooted to cut the road toll for these younger, inexperienced drivers locally.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is now set to debate a proposal to impose a night time curfew on novice drivers.

North Down MLA Peter Weir has also proposed limiting the number and age of passengers and a total alcohol ban on newly qualified drivers.

The DUP assembly member said similar schemes had success in other countries: "Newly qualified drivers are five times more likely that the average driver to be involved in a fatal or serious road collision," he said.

Northern Ireland already operates an R-plate system which must be displayed for a year and indicates the driver is restricted to 45mph.

Since graduated driver licensing systems provide a staged progression from initial learning to unrestricted solo driving, a UK initiative to control early driving to reduce exposure to the highest risk driving situations was previously discussed at Westminster.

Graduated licensing systems are in place in several states of USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France and Northern Ireland. These systems have different components and impose different restrictions.


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