Derbyshire police to crackdown on 'disrespectful' drivers who film traffic accidents

Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe
·3 min read
Derbyshire Police has vowed to prosecute drivers who film traffic collisions at the wheel - Peter Manning/LNP/London News Pictures Ltd
Derbyshire Police has vowed to prosecute drivers who film traffic collisions at the wheel - Peter Manning/LNP/London News Pictures Ltd

Police are targeting motorway "rubberneckers" by installing new roadside cameras to identify them in a new crackdown against "disrespectful" motorists.

Derbyshire Police has vowed to prosecute drivers who film traffic collisions at the wheel after incidents involving three crashes on the M1 on Friday (Aug 7).

The force's road policing unit said it had seen evidence that motorists were seen fiddling on their mobile phones while at the wheel near crash scenes.

The cameras will be regularly reviewed to catch motorists in the act and anyone found to be using a camera device to film a crash will be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution in the post.

The measures were taken following the collisions on Friday, one of which required an air ambulance to land on the carriageway, while a Major Rescue Unit from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service was also in attendance.

On August 7, Derbyshire Roads Policing Unit took to Twitter to announce the latest measure, writing: “All Rubber Neckers who drove without due care and attention earlier on the M1 so they could film the collision scenes on their phones. We've put our cameras to good use and filmed you back. To be reviewed and offenders prosecuted.”

In a Facebook post shared the following day, the Policing Unit clarified the reasoning behind their decision and described the actions of  "rubberneckers" as “ disrespectful and illegal”.

The unit wrote: “We attended 3 collisions on the M1, one requiring the air ambulance to land on the carriageway and noted that AS USUAL the rubberneckers just couldn't help themselves. It is understandable to have a level of curiosity about why you've been held up in traffic but your own driving shouldn't suffer as a result.”

“For a while now the next step for a particular hard core group of these elastic necked drivers is to fiddle about on their phone, switch it to camera mode and record the collision scene. All whilst controlling between 1 and 40 tonnes of metal surrounded by dozens of others doing the same.”

“It's disrespectful and illegal. It's a simple case of driving without due care and attention. The driver should be focusing on what's ahead not what's on the other carriageway and their phone.”

The move has been met with support from some social media users.

One Facebook user commented: “Brilliant. I'm a lorry driver and the amount people that literally stop to look is sickening. 100 per cent got my backing.”

While another added: “Absolutely fantastic idea...... the rubber neckers not only cause more accidents by being nosey but also cost the economy a lot of money ...... so why not fine them and give them points .... I also think this should be more widely publicised so the message spreads quicker.”

However, some on Twitter questioned whether monitoring cameras would be a good use of police time, with one user commenting: “I'm sure there is nothing better to be doing than going through hours of footage and looking for people to prosecute for a crime which didn't actually cause an incident.”

Derbyshire Constabulary have been contacted for comment.