Police to seize mobile phones in every crash

Crackdown on drivers distracted at the wheel

Posted: 28 July 2014
by Visordown News

EVERY driver involved in a car crash will have their hand-held mobile phone seized to check if they were using it prior to the accident.

The move is likely to see drivers' phones taken away from them to be used as evidence in prosecutions.

Gloucestershire Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, who is responsible for roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers, issued the advice to check phones at the roadside.

The checks will apply to any accident, leading to fears that drivers could lose their phone after a ‘minor shunt’ or be unable to contact relatives or recovery services after a crash.

Hugh Bladon, of the Alliance of British Drivers, said: ‘I am 100 per cent against anyone texting while driving, and those caught deserve everything they get.

‘But I’m worried police could overdo it. Just because someone is involved in a minor shunt, surely it shouldn’t mean they should lose their phone.’

The move comes shortly after Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin suggested that people caught using hand-held mobile phones while driving should get six points on their licence rather than the three currently handed out to offenders.

An estimated 500 people a year are killed or seriously injured as a result of car and lorry drivers using their phones at the wheel.

McLoughlin said: ‘The amount of casualties has been absolutely appalling. We’ve got to change this.’

AA President Edmund King, said: ‘The current deterrent just isn’t working. Many drivers seem addicted to their phones and just can’t resist looking at a text or tweet at the wheel. We need a concerted effort to crack this addiction with harsher penalties linked to an information and enforcement campaign.’

Drivers who cause a crash and kill someone whilst using a phone can face up to 14 years in prison. However, in 2012 over 10,000 drivers were offered a road safety course instead of points and a fine.

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Discuss this story

Cant find a fault with this idea, tho couldn't they check for recent usage at the roadside then decide to keep the phone??

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:05

Good! Now if they introduce legislation that increases the penalty for phone usage whilst driving to an automatic 12 month ban we will really be making progress.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:28

To make it simpler, why not introduce a national call database, whereby the Police have an ability to look at user logs/call/texts made without a court request. could be instantaneous with modern technology.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:32

Excellent idea..!

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 12:02

If I could see this being of real help prosecuting those guilty of an offence then I’d be all for it but other than inconveniencing those already inconvenienced by someone crashing into them I don’t see what this is this going to actually achieve?

It seems like they’re saying if somebody crashes into my vehicle through no fault of my own the police then take my phone to check the easily deleted call and SMS history on the handset? Logs are kept by the operator already (that can’t be deleted in a few seconds at the side of the road) and as far as I’m aware phones don’t log when a hands free device has been used. What’s the point?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 12:24

Yep... you can make phone calls & text legally using hands free technology. Unless you catch someone accessing something they'd need to look at the phone for such as the internet or facebook pictures you really aren't going to achieve much... but publicity is king... if people think their phones can be seized as evidence it may prove as a deterrent.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 12:50

Good to hear, but penalty still not high enough at 6 points.
An automatic 12 month ban should be the minimum.
It's as dangerous as drink driving and should carry a similar penalty.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 15:26

I agree with Duck 51,most of them see the penalty as the equivalent of a damn good telling off,using a mobile phone while driving should have the same penalty as drink driving.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 16:02

Sounds like BS & money making scam to me? charge you to get your phone back like people have said police can already check service provider records having phone would make no difference & do not think they have the powers to do so.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 16:42

Texting is worse than drunk driving. Drunk drivers are thought impaired and cannot process the risk of driving drunk. Texters know exactly how unsafe the behaviour is, with no impairment (other than stupidity).

It would be trivial to block phone usage in a moving vehicle if the device is not docked. This is low tech, but all the multinational , multibillion gadget makers refuse to acknowledge the danger of these toys on the roads.

So, this is like big tobacco, and will only get addressed with a massive class action suit by victims of smartphone users.

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 16:50

This will cause a lot of people to dig out that old nokia at the back of a drawer, stick a pay as you go sim in it and have that in the glove box as their crash phone.

Also, if the phone is paired to the car 'infotainment system' then how does that work? Not on the phone talking so it's fine - but how do you check that they weren't accessing Facebook or reading emails?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 21:14

CafeRay: I agree. At least drunk drivers are probably looking where they're going!

The number of drivers I see on the roads doing this absolutely boils my piss. I even saw a driving instructor's car yesterday, presumably between jobs, tailgating the car in front at about 40mph, with his bloody phone in his hand! That guy obviously doesn't give a fuck. Like so many others who simply can't leave their phone alone for two fucking minutes.

To my mind, even six points isn't enough. Although, this law's pointless if there's no actual traffic cops on the road to enforce it.

Posted: 29/07/2014 at 10:15

So not only do we get the stress of an accident we automaticaĺy loose our phone regardless of us using it at the time or not? Are motorbikes included in this scheme? Not sure if privacy laws might be infringed here.

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 22:05

Talkback: Police to seize mobile phones in every crash

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