[“Car Crash: 12 march 2009” by jenineabarbanel is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
Police warned a number of ‘rubberneckers’ at a recent accident in Essex to stop filming on their mobiles as they drove past or they will be arrested and charged with using their mobile phones while driving.
Police noticed several drivers using their mobiles to capture the car wreckage, as well as passengers.
Emergency services arrived at the A13 in Thurrock, Essex, where an Audi car had been rear-ended by an HGV causing the vehicle to smash into a flat bed truck.
As a result of the accident, one person sustained injuries and was taken to Queen’s Hospital in Romford. It is not believed their condition was serious.
The crash caused large queues of traffic on the A13 and M25, leading to the road being shut for most of the day.
Essex Police have released a new photo of the incident showing the car involved wedged under a lorry in front, (see below).
The Police issued a severe warning to drivers who used their mobiles to film the incident as they drove past.
‘Thankfully the driver of this car hit from behind by an HGV on the A13 earlier wasn’t seriously hurt. To the 20 or so drivers who drove by one handed to film it with your phones not watching the road ahead, keep an eye on your (mailbox emoji) …as we’ll be in touch.’ taken from a Tweet by the South Essex Road Policing Unit.
In September this year, a 25-year-old man died in a crash on the A1089 shortly before it joins the A13. Emergency services were called to reports of a collision between a blue Volkswagen Crafter van and a stationary HGV. An air ambulance was sent, but sadly the man died at the scene.
Police need to take tougher stance on mobile use at wheel
Since 2006 there have been police powers to stop mobile phone use at the wheel under the Road Safety Act, where motorists can earn 6 points and a £200 fine, but that does not seem to deter people.
In 2018 we saw the roll out of “vulture cameras” on selected roads such the A3, with tech capable of detecting in the day or night if a driver is using a mobile phone while driving, but the deployment is still limited to a handful of locations and drivers soon learn where they are.
The concept of ‘rubbernecking’ at accidents is nothing new, with some motoring bodies suggesting that at least 30% of all traffic jams are caused by rubberneckers on the opposite side of a road slowing down to look at the gory details of the accident, or even a broken down vehicle.
But the combination of ‘rubbernecking’ and mobile phone use at the same time needs to be cracked down upon as much as possible, or we will just see continued lawlessness on Britain’s roads, recorded and posted on You Tube as and when they like.
Do you think the police should crack down hard on ‘rubberneckers’ who film accident scenes on their mobiles? What sort of penalty should they receive? Let us know in the comments below.
£4,000 fine, 6 months imprisonment and the criminal record. These people are sick if they find taking a photo of an accident. You can’t really put a price on life., so that’s why I have raised it to £4,000.
Rubberneckers really pee me off. I have seen people literally do an emergency stop to see what is happening on the other carriage way. Just enforcing the law as is for using a mobile whilst driving but the fine needs to be increased. If you cannot pay then more points or a ban. If you get caught driving whilst banned then loss of car.
Yes they are a nuisance & cause a big tail back, its the same as when someone collapses and dies they just stand around watching, instead of giving CPR to try and revive the person, I know of this first hand as my husband recently suddenly collapsed & it took the ambulance 17mins to arrive at the shop where it happened, so he didn’t stand a chance of being revived, but the rubberneckers got a good viewing, but they didn’t attempt to help revive him, I wondered why the shopkeepers husband rushed upstairs when I entered the shop, I now know why.!!!!!
Very sorry to hear about your husband, hope he’s OK now.
All these offences are difficult to enforce once a Police Force is decimated by the previous Conservative Government. I am surprised they manage to what they do…….and they are expected to assist with Covid.
Rubbish, if the police spent less time investigating spurious hate crimes, or dancing the conga and posting the results on social media, they could be deployed to more serious work.
If a case of car crushed for illegal number plates, or Driver fined £2000 for using phone whilst driving. Or even those Police that warned the drivers not to rubberneck or take photos actually did something about it instead of threatening this country would be a safer place.
If whoever put up large enough to block the view temporary screens around such incidents there would be nothing to see. It can’t be a major problem to do that.
But they slow down to look at the screen.
Put up large screens so others don’t see the consequences of bad driving. No deterrent value and the opposite of Germany.
Ghoulish behaviour has been in Britain for as long as I’ve been driving but having more emergency workers putting up signs, closing lanes/roads is just another way of making an incident worse and maximising disruption. The irony is; this is what the people want.
Nice idea but completely impractical. Where would screens be stored and how would they be deployed.
I agree, heartily
They have got screens. Sometimes it’s not that easy to do .when they are working so hard to save a life . But that still wont stop them .easy way give them an instant ban 12 months. And made to go on a awareness course one a month for 12 months and they must pay for it .plus a nice fine that will stop them .when they loose everything just like the poor family who lost a loved one
Lose there licence for life same as for using a phone
Heavy fine and automatic license loss. A couple of years ago when I was driving a coach, we approached the scene of a collision on our side of the motorway in the inside lane. I was in the middle lane in slow moving traffic behind a car which started slowing down even more while the occupants leaned over to get a better look. As they obviously couldn’t see enough, they stopped alongside the vehicles and took pictures. When I leaned on my horn, they gave me the finger!
Definitely prosecute ‘rubberneckers’,not only for the potential danger they cause but also for the anguish they could so easily cause to relatives of the crash victims involved by posting on inane sites simply so they can gloat at what they were ‘clever’ enough to see.
This from a long retired traffic cop ! It was ever thus but worse nowadays when everybody has a phone/camera.
Please increase the penalty point and fine until you feel that it is having the desired effect thanks
Yes they should, and the offender should lose their licence for at least 12 months with a hefty fine, say £1000.
Maybe next time, they will think twice about using their mobiles whilst at the wheel.
Any mobile phone use while driving is unacceptable, so for the first offence minimum 28 day ban plus usual points and fine
Instant driving ban
To all of the clowns rubbernecking and using their phones to take pictures of people trapped in the vehicles, spend a day in A+E visiting all of these people that have been injured. Also just think of this. While you are crawling past just think about all of the people that you are holding up. Any of the people that are doing this the police should be able to give a mandatory £2000 fine. No ifs or buts two grand. As an ex HGVClass 1 I have been stuck in these queues that you cause and have had to have a night out because of your un consideration gawping at accidents.
Yes, absolutely. Even when not filming, cars suddenly slowing down to 30 mph in the outside lane of the motorway for no other reason than to ‘rubberneck’ is reprehensible.
The police should use screens to give privacy to the victims and stop passing drivers being able to see what’s happened. That’ll stop the rubber necking and reduce the jams.
Police vehicles could have screens similar to the ones used by animal ambulances at racecourses to screen the immediate area off. That would deter rubbernecking photographers.
So, Police vehicles should now carry first aid kits, cones, signs, body bags, emergency lighting, PPE, and now enormous screens and frames to erect around the scene. How on earth can they carry all that lot in a standard saloon or estate car?
Double the mobile usage penalty would seem appropriate
There should be no argument about this. People who do this sort of thing should have the full force of the law on them. Apart from being reckless themselves in not watching the road ahead. Do these idiots realise that someone could be very seriously injured. Even dying and someone is taking a picture of the scene. I think people who do this should be banned for 1 year from driving and then go on a driving awareness course.
I am the above person Philip English. I am not a guest.
Have 1 officer controlling the traffic & recording the phone users vehicle, stop them & Confiscate the mobile phone, plus increase the penalty to at least 3 years disqualification along with a hefty fine.
Once word of the harsh penalties now in force gets around, you’ll soon see a significant drop in offending!
The fines should be increased to a level where they cover the total cost of prosecuting to include the cost of the police officers, the court costs. Then take their phones away immediately and destroy them and as has already been said a driving ban for at least 3-5 years. It’s time this is stopped and it’s unfair on the police that they should have to go through endless court hearings a simple dash cam picture should be more than enough to enable prosecution.
Let’s head ever faster to dystopian totalitarianism so we can have the same backlash as the French gilet jaune movement and all of the brutality which goes with it. (Of course, those who get information from manipulated TV news or City of Westminster headquartered newspapers will always be completely unaware of what really happens and more importantly why). Thinks like that would be a start of something more serious.
Your irritation is understandable but a change must happen at a deeper level.
Give them a fine and ban on driving for 12 months and to get there licence back make them take a retest
When will these so called ‘drivers’ learn ? Are they morons from another planet ?
6 months ban +£100 fine + 6penalty points
The police should setup a camera to film the rubberneckers. Then follow up with a ban and hefty fine.
The vehicle should be confiscated for 28 days be it private or commercial. The same penalty should also be given for unlicenced/uninsured or taxed vehicle. A fine could also be given but the loss of the vehicle punishes those who plead poverty
I’m sure police have a lot of gear to carry in their vehicle, but if they has a few lightweight screens to erect around the smashed car there would be nothing to rubberneck…..
What is wrong with people!? I drive many thousands of miles a year & I have no interest in ‘crash tourism’, I just want to get on with my journey, but these selfish idiots are not helping any of us! Just what are they hoping to capture? A dead body? Severed limbs? Wake up & grow up, the people behind you want to get on with their journeys!
Absolutely! I would favor a 2 year ban and £1000 fine. Lets face it, their irresponsible actions could result in other people being injured or killed.
Yes Rubber necking should be stopped and anyone who has an accident whilst Rubberkbecking should be procecuted.
A 5000 fine and 8 puts on their licence. What they do is immensely dangerous t o other road users.
I am sure that these people who film this type of thing must be sick in the head.
They must be stopped find and given a driving ban for a minimum of three months.
8 puts on the licence and 2000 fine
Anyone caught using a mobile phone whilst driving should loose their license for at least one year
I think the police should fine rubberneckers full stop whether using phone or not.
An automatic 1 year ban, followed by a re-test.
A higher screen between the carriageways would stop this.
The majority don’t concentrate on their driving when there’s nothing to look at! Add rubber neckers and use of a mobile to record some one else’s mistamena and its triple trouble!
That goodness I’m an advanced driver and not a judge, because they would go to jail if they were infont of me in a hypothetical court!
I do wish that the Police would do what is customary on the continent to avoid rubbernecking, and mobile phone use, which is to erect 3m screens around every motorway accident sight and suddenly there is nothing to look at, nothing to film and NO reason to slow down
Many years ago whilst working in Germany (where I learnt to drive – and all over Europe), the polizei were very effective in not just catching offenders – like those failing to stop 100% at junctions – but also fining them on-the-spot.
Here in the UK driving is undisciplined, laissez-faire, and plain sloppy. And never a cop in sight when needed.
The penalties are adequate and well defined, but the ability to catch offenders is shockingly poor.
Like so many things in the UK: politicians pass laws and legislation without considering the resources to effectuate them. Until that’s sorted out, we’ll tolerate everything that goes with bad driving.
Maybe re-testing offenders would help… with the right resources, naturally.
Resources that a certain Theresa May decided to cut: surely she should be made personally liable for their depletion, having driven the police force to exasperation!
Just try doing this in France, your feet wouldn’t touch. I am fed up of this namby pamby country. As with Covid after 8 months of asking what part of do not have a gathering of over 30 people, or 10 , or 15 or wear a mask and keep a safe distance apart don’t you understand. The fines would go some way to fund the Police.
Don’t get me going on illegal number plates, everyday I see at least 5 on the road, a swift £1000, fine and car crushed, will soon make these people think that the law applies to them and they are not exempt. Even if they are leased crush them the person that took out the lease is responsible for the legal status of the car, not the Garage.
Yes think they should be punished for there neglect of road safety rules !
the rubbernecking is caused by driving too close to the car in front for speed they are travelling at.