Following the recent sentencing of a lorry driver, who killed four members of the same family after using his mobile phone to change music while driving, one victim’s mother has spoken out to plea with motorists to think twice before using mobile phones at the wheel.
Tomasz Kroker has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing the death of a mother, her two sons and her partner’s daughter. Kroker was driving a lorry on the A34 northbound in August when he drove into the back of a queue of stationary cars at 50 mph having looked away from the road for almost 1km to scroll through music on his phone.
Kate Goldsmith, whose daughter Aimee died in the crash, said “”To all intents and purposes, Mr Kroker’s use of his mobile phone whilst driving turned his lorry into a lethal weapon. He was so distracted he made no attempt to slow down.” She also condemned drivers who continue to use their phones while driving stating that it “sickens” her to see it.
There have been questions about whether the sentence was tough enough to send a clear message to drivers but certainly the devastation of the event will send shockwaves across the country.
Gavin Hernandez, district crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern crown prosecution service, said “This case highlights the serious consequences of failing to be alert and prepared for unexpected driving conditions. Mobile phones must not be used by drivers under any circumstances as they are a lethal distraction which, as this case demonstrates, can lead to untold misery”
Due to advances in mobile technology, we are now able to do many more things on our mobile phones than just simply call and text. Music apps, cameras, social media, and face time mean the average person spends 23 days per year glued to their phone in private, around friends, in public, and even behind the wheel of their vehicles.
Despite warnings from the police who can issue fines to anyone caught using their phones at the wheel, many still choose to use their mobile phones on the road. In 2015, 440 road accidents in the UK were reported to have been caused as a result of mobile phones; 75 of these were serious and 22 fatal.
Many people have now called for tougher punishments to discourage drivers from being tempted to take calls, check texts or scroll through music. As a result, in September the government announced that penalty points and fines would double from 3 points and £100 fine to 6 points and a £200 fine to send a clear message to drivers to give the road their full attention.
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, speak to our experienced personal injury solicitors who can help you claim the compensation you deserve. You can contact us here or call 0845 287 0939.