Lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was jailed yesterday for 10 years for killing four members of the same family in a crash in August.
Ethan Houghton, aged 13, Josh Houghton, 11, Aimee Goldsmith, 11, and Tracey Houghton, aged 45, were killed when Kroker’s lorry ploughed into stationary traffic on the A34.
He had been changing the music on his phone.
The family of those killed has put together a truly powerful and upsetting video, which I urge everybody to watch:
Despite all motorists knowing it is illegal and dangerous, unfortunately far too many people still use a handheld phone behind the wheel. If we are to stop the needless death and injury this selfish act causes then that needs to change.
The recent announcement of a forthcoming increase in penalties for mobile phone use is a step in the right direction, but we also need to work on changing the mindset of motorists before they step into the car with their phone.
Drivers need to understand the devastating impact using their phone for just a couple of seconds can have, not just on those killed or injured, but on their family and friends too.
Taking your eyes off the road to check your phone for just two seconds while travelling at 40mph means you will have travelled for around 40 metres, completely blind. During that time a car ahead could have braked or stopped, or a child could have stepped out into the road.
And it’s not just handheld phones that are an issue. Using hands-free is not safe, with all research clearly showing it does not significantly reduce the risks, because the problems are caused mainly by the mental distraction and divided attention of using a phone at the same time as driving. For this reason, RoSPA advocates a change in the law to ban the use of hands-free phones.
The decisions we make can have devastating, life-long consequences.
I urge all drivers to switch off their phones while driving, and to check messages only once they have stopped in a safe place. And if you know someone is driving, please don’t try to contact them until you are sure they have finished their journey.
Nick Lloyd, road safety manager
Posted: 11/1/2016 2:56:43 PM