Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Lesson for Drivers Who Text at Wheel; DASHCAM FOOTAGE OF CRASH THAT CLAIMED MUM AND CHILDREN'S LIVES RELEASED

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Lesson for Drivers Who Text at Wheel; DASHCAM FOOTAGE OF CRASH THAT CLAIMED MUM AND CHILDREN'S LIVES RELEASED

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk @Sophie_Doughty

IT makes for horrific viewing, but is a heart-wrenching reminder of the devastating consequences driving with a mobile phone can bring.

Lorry driver Tomasz Kroker killed a mum and her three children when he ploughed into a line of stationary cars on a motorway.

The 30-year-old had been changing the music on his phone when he robbed Tracy Houghton, 45, her stepdaughter Aimee Goldsmith, 11, and her sons Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, of their lives in 2015.

Now with the support of the victims' family Surrey Police has released harrowing footage of the smash, in a bid to stop other drivers from picking up their mobiles while behind the wheel.

And today traffic cops on Tyneside have also issues a stark warning to motorists.

Northumbria Police Operations Department Inspector Dave Little said: "Unfortunately using a mobile phone behind the wheel is something that has become a common sight; especially in younger generations. The message is simple; a text or phone call is not worth a life."

Officers from the force's motor patrols department are working hard to not only catch offending drivers, but to educate people about the dangers.

"Northumbria Police continue our hard efforts to catch and educate those committing these types of offences and ensure not only the full extent of the law is carried out but that the offender fully understands the consequences of their actions," Insp Little continued.

"Since 1st March 2017, new penalties came in for illegal phone use in England, Wales and Scotland. You can now get up to six points and a PS200 fine for using your phone whilst driving.

"Not only can you incur points and a fine but the impact it can have on people's lives is a very real element it can have devastating consequences."

And the force is also asking the public to help.

Insp Little added: "We ask people to not only report anyone using their mobile phone whilst driving to the police, but also tell friends and family who you know use phones behind the wheel about the dangers and risks. …

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