A white van man is caught on VisionTrack dashcam footage causing a smash with a lorry while chatting on his mobile phone.
The Renault Master van driver was so distracted by his phone call that he didn’t even realise that he had driven into the HGV at a motorway intersection – and he raced away without stopping.
The van driver got a nasty surprise when he was presented with the footage which clearly identified him as the guilty party by his registration plate.
His insurers were landed with a big repair bill by the HGV’s owner.
And now the white van man faces getting six points on his licence and a £200 fine under tough new driver distraction laws.
The footage has been released by in-vehicle CCTV firm VisionTrack to highlight the continuing problem of drivers flouting the law by using their mobiles behind the wheel despite a recent Government clampdown.
Research shows that being distracted by a phone while driving can make a driver up to 25 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
Department for Transport figures show 72,000 drivers a year are penalised for using their mobiles behind the wheel.
Latest figures show that there are 3,884 convictions a year for drinking driving.
VisionTrack enterprise manager Phil Morrell said: “What is so disturbing about this footage is that the van driver was so wrapped up in his mobile phone call he wasn’t even aware that he had smashed into the lorry.
“He only found out he was in trouble when he was presented with the dashcam footage later.
“It is absolutely certain that mobile phone distraction will lead to more deaths on UK roads unless we crack down on this now.
“It should be as socially unacceptable as drink driving but motorists still do it routinely when they are behind the wheel even when they have passengers.
“Department for Transport figures show that far, far more drivers are using mobiles while behind the wheel than drink driving. Yet there is strong evidence to suggest that it is just as dangerous.”
The new VisionTrack dashcam footage happened on a M60 slip road slip road near Oldham.
The footage from the HGV’s VisionTrack VT2000 3G camera showed the Renault van driver travelling illegally for at least 300 metres while talking on his mobile phone at the busy intersection.
His 3.5 tonne van is the largest vehicle that can be driven legally on a regular UK’s driver’s licence without a specialist HGV test.
The footage was uploaded remotely to the VisionTrack cloud saving the fleet time and money by not having to bring the lorry back to base to recover the footage.
The lorry needed substantial repairs due to damage to the bodywork, front headlamp and front grill.
In March, new penalties came into force aimed at discouraging people from using their mobile phones while driving.
The penalties doubled – six points on the licence instead of three and a £200 fine.
Lorry driver Dariusz Tokarczy, from Harrogate, North Yorks, was jailed for four and a half years in March for ploughing into the back of 21-year-old Jodie Moss’s stationary car on the A34 in Chieveley, Berks, and killing her while he was choosing music on his mobile phone.
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