Police photograph car crash rubberneckers

Updated: 

Drivers to face tougher penalties for using mobile phones

Drivers caught on camera by Northamptonshire Police taking pictures of a road accident could face prosecution.

Officers were called to a collision on the A45 in Northamptonshire on Monday afternoon last week, which involved a large van that had overturned in the carriageway, when they noticed a number of motorists taking pictures of the scene on mobile phones.

The police then started taking pictures of the offending drivers as they passed on the opposite carriageway.

Inspector Jen Helm expressed her disbelief at the drivers' actions: "I am amazed that people think there is nothing wrong with using their mobile phones to take pictures while driving, and secondly that they think it is in any way appropriate or respectful to the victims of that collision," she told the BBC.

"What might be a great Facebook update for one person could picture the spot where someone's daughter or father took their last breath.

"Using your mobile phone while driving can and does lead to serious injury and sometimes fatal road traffic collisions.

"The drivers we photographed all gambled with other people's lives that day. When it does go wrong, I promise no photograph in the world will make the family of the victim think it was worth it."

"We will now be seeking prosecutions against those people," she continued.

Drivers caught on camera by the Northamptonshire force now face prosecution for committing a driving offence. Whether that is using a mobile phone behind the wheel or driving without due care and attention, is likely to depend on the evidence gathered.

Two people – the van driver and a passenger – were eventually airlifted to hospital from the crash site, with serious but non-life threatening injuries.