Virtual campaign targets boy racers

A Northern Ireland minister has warned young drivers that driving on roads is not the same as playing a boy racer character in a computer game and that they must slow down.

As part of a new virtual advertising campaign, which is targeted at online video gamers, the Stormont environment minister Sammy Wilson has appealed for drivers to act sensibly and not drive like they are part of a high-speed car chase game.

Research shows 17-24 year olds are most at risk on the roads and a quarter of those have access to an X Box.

He warned that "there is a big difference between the virtual world and real life where there is no restart button".

The campaign will send 320,000 messages to X Box Live users in Northern Ireland when they log on to play other gamers throughout December and January.

Mr Wilson said because a majority of X Box users are young males the campaign is an innovative way of reaching the group most at risk.

He said: "There are no second chances in real life. Unlike the virtual world, if you crash a speeding car or take risks on the road it really will be 'game over'."

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