Drivers to be prosecuted for filming M40 crash scene

Picture from West Midlands Ambulance Service

Picture from West Midlands Ambulance Service

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Over 80 drivers will be summoned to court or face a £100 fine after allegedly stopping to film crash scenes along the M40 on Friday morning.

Warwickshire Police has issued penalty notices to over 80 drivers after huge numbers were alledgedly seen slowing down to film an overturned lorry on mobile phones as they passed.

Following Friday’s crash, officers said: “Over 80 summons being prepared this morning for drivers who were using/filming the collision site on the M40 yesterday on their phones.

“We cannot stress enough how dangerous ‘rubber necking’ past a crash scene is let alone filming it.”

They said as well as dangers of slowing down to film causing even greater delays, the actions were insensitive, and a danger.

Inspector Lucy Sewell of Warwickshire Police said: “We would like to remind people that it is an offence to use a handheld device such as a phone while driving, it distracts you and greatly reduces your reaction time. In this case, it made the already severe delays even worse for drivers behind them.

Picture from West Midlands Ambulance Service

Picture from West Midlands Ambulance Service

“If we identify people using a handheld device while driving we will take action.”

The actions come at the same time as the Government considers increasing the penalty for people caught using mobile phones while driving.

The change could see fines increased from £100 to £150, and penalty points raised from three to four - or up to six for drivers of HGVs.

One driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries following the three-lorry collision along the motorway on Friday morning in which one vehicle’s cab hit a bridge support pillar.

The lorry overturned just past junction 14, spilling 30 tonnes of animal feed across all three lanes of the road and causing severe delays up to the northbound carriageway for several hours.

The driver, a man in his 30s was treated for leg pain before being taken to the major trauma centre at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

His injuries are not thought to be serous.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “One of the lorries had collided with a bridge support and was on its side.

“The third lorry driver was uninjured.

“Delays are expected on both the M40 and the M42 for the rest of the afternoon.”

Warwickshire Police officers at the scene said there may be structural repairs needed to the bridge support pillar.

Three northbound lanes and one southbound lane were closed between junction 16 Henley-in-Arden and junction 3A of the M42 with drivers warned of ongoing delays.