Fleet News

Texting driver jailed for five years

A truck driver involved in a fatal accident had sent and received almost 100 texts from a friend in less than three days - all while driving.

The last was just before he hit a car, killing the driver, on the M62 in West Yorkshire.

The truck driver, Ethen Roberts, of Immingham, has just been jailed for five years and three months after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

When investigators analysed Roberts' phone they found he had received a message from a friend one minute and 16 seconds before his lorry veered into the car.

This is not the first time a driver has been jailed after heavy use of texting while driving a lorry.

Co-incidentally, in order to get a membership view on attitudes relating to the illegal use of hand-held mobile phones, the RHA Policy team carried out its own survey.

Members responded strongly, with common opinions across the members - large, medium and small firms.

The key results from the survey, which received more than 200 responses were:

• 86% of those surveyed said they actively manage the issue
• 80% said that their employed drivers are given clear written instructions as to the use of hand-held mobiles
• 14% said that using a hand held mobile whilst driving a truck should be a sacking offence.

When asked if the use of hand-held mobiles is made clear to agency drivers in writing, more than one third of firms using agency drivers said they have no written policy but some are clearly reviewing that.

Many members commented that sacking was too severe for a first offence but that a formal warning would be issued.

Truck drivers prosecuted for using hand-held mobiles while driving for work normally face a three-week suspension of their licence, in addition to the normal fixed penalties.
 

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Comments

  • Judith - 06/09/2013 12:52

    Why refer to the law-breaking texting by a truck driver, which killed an innocent road user, as a 'accident'. Texting is, like other Criminal Motoring Offences, NO 'accident'

    Motorists who Kill innocent people whilst in the commission of committing a criminal motoring offence should be prosecuted for Manslaughter at the very least.

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  • Joanna - 09/09/2013 09:52

    I agree with you Judith. No one accidentally texts someone, its something done of ones own free will and should be treated as a serious criminal offence.

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