Increasing amounts of road traffic accidents are being caught on camera by rubberneckers.
But police are warning that such behaviour is a criminal offence. They say it not only risks other roads users’ safety, it also raises the chances of another collision happening.
The latest warning comes from police in the Norfolk and Suffolk force. They say more than five East Anglian motorists are currently awaiting court summonses to land on their doormat after taking drive-by pictures at a single bad accident scene.
A14 is notorious accident blackspot
Police say the digital rubberneckers were taking photographs on their phones as they went past a crash on the Bury St Edmunds stretch of the A14.
The 127-mile (204km) road, which links Warwickshire and Suffolk, is notorious for road prangs. The one in question almost killed an HGV driver.
But local police say this latest instance of rubbernecking is just one of several they have experienced.
Officers say the motorists blatantly set their phones on the accident scene, even though they knew they were being watched by the law.
Photographing vehicle crashes has already led to the conviction of one rubbernecker. A separate incident saw a couple of teenage girls smiling as they took selfies next to the scene of what turned out to be a fatal accident in Bury St Edmunds.
Cameras help claims photo evidence
Phone cameras can be very useful in gathering photo evidence at road accidents when it comes to winning claims.
But Suffolk and Norfolk Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Team leader David Giles says there is no excuse to take pictures of road accidents just for fun.
He was among the officers who attended the serious A14 incident involving an HGV driver.
Inspector Giles says that rubbernecking photographers raise the chances of causing other accidents. He says there were various near-misses in this case with motorists skidding and beeping their horns.
Insp Giles calls it “really disappointing” that commercial drivers who moan about traffic jams are adding to the congestion themselves by slowing down to take pictures.
Source: East Anglian Daily Times
Date Published: May 26, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown