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Bid to stop texting at the wheel

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The road safety minister has launched a new campaign to highlight the dangers of texting while driving, with any conviction for the offence likely to lead to a rise in car insurance premiums.

Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick launched the THINK! campaign after research showed that 30% of young drivers text while behind the wheel.

The campaign will include a radio advert featuring a driver's voice spelling out a text message followed by the sound of a car crash.

Around 12% of all motorists admit to texting while driving, despite research showing that 93% think it is dangerous.

In addition to the radio advert, a former THINK! TV advert will return to remind people to "kill the conversation" as soon as they realise that someone is driving.

Jim Fitzpatrick said that texting while driving means drivers cannot be giving the road their full attention.

He added: "The message that mobile phones and driving should not mix is getting through to the majority of drivers but some people are still needlessly risking their own lives and putting others in danger for the sake of a text or a call.

"Our message to all drivers is simple: Don't use your mobile phone when you're driving."

© Press Association 2009