Lorry Driver Using Mobile Phone “might as well have had his eyes closed”
A lorry driver has been jailed for 10 years at Reading Crown Court following a crash on the A34 in Berkshire in August which resulted in the death of a mother and three children. Mr Tomasz Kroker was scrolling though music on his mobile phone when his lorry smashed into stationary traffic . The Judge described the case as the worst she had ever seen and said Mr Kroker’s attention had been so poor “he might as well have had his eyes closed”.
Astonishingly, the Court heard that just an hour before the crash, Mr Kroker had signed a declaration to his employer promising not to use his phone whilst driving. The Court was also shown distressing dash-cam footage of Mr Kroker looking at his phone prior to the collision and heard that initially he blamed a brake failure for the crash.
Kate Goldsmith, whose daughter Aimee died in the collision, made a plea outside the Court to all road users to learn lessons from the incident. Ms Goldsmith stated “we urge you to make a personal commitment to stop using mobile phones while driving and make our roads safer for everyone”.
The sentence comes just days after the RAC stated that drivers “no longer fear punishment” after it was revealed that the number of people fined for using mobile phones whilst driving fell 43% in the last year. An RAC spokesman Pete Williams stated mobile phone usage at the wheel was an “epidemic” that has been allowed to “sweep across the country largely unchallenged”.
A government spokesperson has confirmed that tougher penalties for using mobile phones at the wheel are due to be announced shortly. With these tougher penalties, if you are caught using your mobile phone whilst driving that you can expect to be fined £200 and given six penalty points. In the future you may also be sent on a mobile phone driving awareness course, similar to the speed awareness course which is currently available.
If you require legal advice in relation to using your mobile phone whilst driving, or in relation to any other driving matter, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced team.