We must all examine our consciences regarding mobile phones in cars

geograph-3292071-by-david-dixonIt’s a local stretch of the A34 I know well. On August 10th we were all stunned and horrified by the terrible accident which occurred there, as reported by the Guardian:

A lorry driver who killed a woman and three children when his vehicle ploughed into their stationary car while he was scrolling through music on his mobile phone has been jailed for 10 years.

Tracy Houghton, 45, her sons, Ethan, 13, Josh, 11, and stepdaughter, Aimee, 11, died instantly when Tomasz Kroker drove his lorry into their car at 50mph. Their car was shunted underneath the back of a heavy goods vehicle and crushed to a third of its size.

An hour earlier, Kroker, 30, had signed a declaration to his employer promising he would not use his phone at the wheel.

The tragedy was witnessed by Tracy Houghton’s partner, Mark Goldsmith, who was in a separate car with his 13-year-old son Jake. The family had been on the way home from a camping holiday in Devon.

The hell for the family and friends of the poor mother and children, who perished in this accident, is unimaginable. It is one of the most awful accidents I have ever heard about.

The Daily Mail has picked on 17 foreign lorry drivers it photographed using their phones while driving.

But I think we all need to examine our consciences here. Since I heard about this accident I have started to store my mobile phone in the boot, switched off, while I am driving. The temptation to perhaps get the thing out in a static traffic queue is too much.

I see people using their phones while driving almost everyday. And it’s not just phones. Who amongst us has not fiddled with our sat nav or music system, while keeping half an eye on the road?

James O’Brien on LBC put it very well:

Every driver in the country has a personal conscience-based battle with their mobile phone when they get behind the wheel.

Photo by David Dixon.

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