Drivers who take photos of road traffic collisions could be hauled before the courts, police have warned.
Last month, Gloucestershire Police announced they would be prosecuting four motorists who took pictures of a motorway crash on their mobile phones.
Officers spotted the drivers slowing down to snap the wreckage of a caravan, which had overturned on the M5, near Michaelwood services. Police have said their “irresponsible” actions were putting others at risk.
The four are likely to be charged with either driving without due care or attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users.
Eight other drivers will be sent warning notices about using their mobile phones, following the same incident on July 28.
PC Shelley Holloway said that while no one had been injured in the caravan accident, a second collision could have been caused by those eager to take pictures of the crash site.
“The actions of several motorists who drove through the scene showed no regard for their own or other people’s safety, as they used their mobile phones to record or video the wreckage as they passed,” she said.
“In doing so, they were not in proper control of their vehicle. They slowed down causing motorists behind them to brake or take evasive action and slow the flow of traffic that was already heavily congested.
“One of the causes of serious injury and fatal collisions is the use of mobile telephones.”
Police forces have said that the increasing problem of people taking pictures to post on social media also showed a “lack of respect” for people killed or seriously injured at the scene.
For those drivers who have been charged with using a mobile phone at the wheel, Leeds-based solicitors Lester Morrill may be able to help.
Our dedicated road traffic offences team can provide specialist advice and representation, with the aim of defending and preserving your licence wherever possible. We are able to assist from the earliest stages of a road traffic law case, right through to criminal proceedings, advice on pleas, court procedures and sentencing options.
“We recognise that these powers need to be used in a targeted and effective way and with professionalism and proportionality.
“We have independent scrutiny panels which look at stop search activity on a regular basis to assess how officers have used these powers and whether the use was both necessary and appropriate.”
By November, all 43 forces in England and Wales will have joined the new scheme.
- For those individuals who are facing criminal proceedings, whether as a result of a stop and search or otherwise, it is important to seek legal advice. At Lester Morrill, our criminal law team are on hand to represent clients who face a range of criminal offences. For more details on how our Leeds-based solicitors can help you, contact us today.