Police using unmarked lorry to catch texting drivers

Police using unmarked lorry to catch texting drivers

The South Yorkshire Police force is using an unmarked lorry to peer into cabs of other lorries and look down on other motorists who may be texting while driving.

The raised vantage point is said to afford officers a better view into car cockpits to catch drivers who may be texting while driving with their mobile phone out of sight.
The campaign – dubbed Jemma Bear - is supported by the family of Jemma O'Sullivan who was killed when a lorry driver who was sending a text message crashed into her car.

The 22-year-old died when she was involved in a four-vehicle collision on the northbound carriageway of the M18 in South Yorkshire in September 2010.

The lorry driver, Christopher Kane, 67, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for five years.

Jemma's father Vincent O'Sullivan said: "We now know first-hand how difficult it is to receive a visit from the police with bad news or to have to deal with trauma at the site of an accident.

"It is even more difficult if there are young children present."

Mr O'Sullivan added: "On Friday, September 3 2010, the nightmare started when the police rang our doorbell at 11.30pm. We were told our youngest daughter, Jemma, had been killed that afternoon. She was hit by a HGV truck, while the vehicle she was travelling in was stationary in traffic."

"It later transpired in court, that the driver was texting for an hour up to the point of impact. During this time the truck was operating on cruise control," he added.

Inspector Pete Serhatlic of South Yorkshire Police said: "Any vehicle not being driven safely can be a lethal weapon.

"The launch of Jemma Bear is a reminder to every driver that you are responsible for your actions when you get behind the wheel."
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