Drivers warned not to use their mobile at the wheel

Northumbria Police is reminding motorists it is illegal to use their mobile phone while driving - including to film footage.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19 February, 2016, 12:08
Motor Patrols Sergeant Lee Butler

It follows a number of incidents recently where officers have attended serious collisions and witnessed a number of motorists driving past filming the scene.

And, those responsible are reminded police will take their registration details and follow up action against them - this will ultimately be a fine but they could end up in court.

Motor Patrols Sergeant Lee Butler said: ‘We are seeing a worrying number of people driving past the scene of a collision with their arm out of the window filming the incident and I want to remind them that it is illegal for them to use their mobile phone while they are driving.

‘We don’t think it’s in particularly good taste but we do recognise it is not illegal for passengers to film as they are driven past - but it is causing us great concern when it is those who are driving who are filming. Not only are they breaking the law they are increasing the chances of causing a further collision.

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‘Traffic may be slower as it passes the scene of a collision so drivers may mistakenly think they’re still in full control of the vehicle but this is not the case. Unfortunately, only too often police see the very tragic consequences of motorists not being in full control of the vehicle and our priority is to raise awareness of these dangers to prevent further lives being affected.’

Sgt Butler has reiterated police will take action against drivers found using their mobile phone while driving.

He added: ‘We will take enforcement action against motorists using their mobile phone to film collisions and drivers who are a caught can expect to receive a fixed penalty notice. If they are subsequently involved in a further collision we will look at whether their actions were responsible or contributed to the collision and they could find they are arrested for inconsiderate or dangerous driving.’

More information about road safety is available on the Northumbria Police website