'People slowed down to film crash'

Wed, Aug 15, 2012, 01:00

Police in Britain have taken the unusual step of writing to 80 motorists who were seen slowing down and filming a serious road crash on their mobile phones.

Northamptonshire police officers were dealing with a collision on the M1 in June that left a young woman trapped in wreckage.

The woman, who remains in a critical condition in hospital, was trapped in her vehicle for nearly five hours as emergency services worked to free her.

Officers said they were “astonished” at the number of motorists on the opposite carriageway who were taking footage of the scene of their mobile phones.

Police set up a camera to record the motorists going past and found 80 used their mobile phone to take pictures of the scene.

Officers have now written to the owners of those vehicles to explain the person driving the vehicle at the time was committing an offence.

Sergeant Nick Gray, from Northamptonshire police’s collision investigation unit, said: “After completing our investigations at the scene of the collision, we were astonished to see so many motorists using their mobile phones to capture an image of what was a horrific collision.”

“The drivers photographed showed a total disregard for the law and the devastation which would be caused to their own or another family in a fatal road traffic collision,” he said. “Many of the drivers photograph would class themselves as professional drivers.”

Sgt Gray said the force had written to the owners of the vehicles where the driver found was using a camera and a formal record, including photographic evidence, would be retained by the police.

“In a number of cases where the motorist was using a vehicle belonging to their employers, the employers have contacted us requesting more information so they can take internal disciplinary action,” he said.

“I am astounded that people not only use their mobile phones to talk on while driving, but would also use them to take pictures, especially at the scene of such a serious road traffic collision,” he added.