The lorry driver was text messaging his girlfriend when his lorry veered off the road and knocked down a car driver standing in a layby. Judge Daniel Worsley said it was 'difficult to imagine a more blatant act of such cold-blooded disregard for safety on the roads'. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said the tragedy should force fleets to take action to ban all use of mobile phones in vehicles and that the temptation to answer a call or deal with text messages had to be removed.
Kevin Clinton, RoSPA head of road safety, said: 'Sadly, it is only when someone is killed that the problems associated with mobile phones and driving are highlighted. We believe hundreds of accidents may be caused by the use of mobiles, but many are going unrecorded. However, we already know that conversations on a mobile, whether hand-held or hands-free, make you more likely to have a crash.'
RoSPA called for a specific offence relating to the use of mobile phones to force drivers to switch them off before they start their engines. It has also called for a ban on mobile phone use in the car as part of a specific Health and Safety policy in all companies. Christopher Bullock, chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said that pressure should also be put on all employees not to speak to drivers using mobile phones while driving. However, he added that banning all use of mobile phones in cars should not be the aim of fleets.