A shocking road safety ad commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment has gone viral, with over 2 million views online.

The ad, which vividly communicates the fact that 28 children – the equivalent of a classroom – have been killed in speeding accidents since 2000, is so graphic that it has been banned from airing on TV before 9pm.

It has been met with mixed reactions, with some hailing it as a powerful and direct effort to decrease driving fatalities, while others say it goes too far.

Warning: this video contains graphic content and may be distressing to some viewers.

AdWeek praised the one-minute ad for “driving the anti-speeding message into the public conversation far beyond Ireland.”

Many commentators on Twitter have said that it goes too far, and the debate continues on a reddit thread dedicated to the ad.

So this PSA is the absolute worst ever... http://t.co/eP5Nk0atMk

— Buzz Sports Network (@BuzzTulsa) June 24, 2014

Jesus blessus the DOE taking the dangerous driving ad to a whole new level with their new one; whole classroom getting flatted #toofar

— Conor Fitz (@ConorFitz89) June 20, 2014

Mark Durkan, Northern Ireland’s Minister for Road Safety, defended the ad in a statement, saying its graphic content was important for communicating an unpleasant but necessary message.

“The aim of this campaign is to challenge and dispel, once and for all, through this emotional and uncomfortable message, the false perceptions that many road users have as to the truly horrifying consequences of speeding.”

Do you think the ad goes too far, or far enough? Tell us in the comment section below.

To see more of the DOE's road safety ads, click here.