Officers will be given the power to take mobile phones from all drivers involved in a road accident, as part of new measures from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) designed to cut road deaths.
The phones will be examined in order to determine whether or not they were used just before the crash, potentially revealing who was at fault for the accident by proving a driver was distracted by a hand-held device.
It is estimated that 500 people are killed or seriously injured every year because drivers are distracted by their phone, although some experts, including the RAC Foundation, believe the figure is higher.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has already announced his intention to double the punishment for offenders from three to six points on their licence, in an effort to improve a deterrent that is widely regarded as insufficient.
The move is likely to be welcomed by road safety campaigners, including the relatives of victims killed as a result of someone texting, emailing or posting on social media at the wheel.
However, some motorists are concerned that the police may begin taking phones away even for very minor collisions, potentially leaving people stranded and unable to contact loved ones if they cannot get home. Others have suggested that offenders could attempt to get around the system by saying that the phone was being used by a passenger in their vehicle.
Could phone data be used to help road accident claims?
If successful, this initiative could provide crucial evidence in road accident compensation claims, where the outcome often rests on proving that one party was to blame for the incident.
In cases where a driver can be shown to have used their phone immediately before a crash, this will certainly indicate that they may not have been fully focused on the road.
If you have been injured in a road accident that you feel was not your fault, get in touch with the experts at Croftons Solicitors today. We can also help family members of victims who have been fatally injured because of another driver’s negligence.
Call us today on 0800 2800 094 to see how we could assist you.