Coun­cil driver caught tex­ting at the wheel

Cy­clist films Dundee City Coun­cil van driver send­ing mes­sages on his phone while driv­ing on busy road

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - News - STE­FAN MORKIS smorkis@the­

A Dundee City Coun­cil work­man has been con­demned by a lead­ing road safety char­ity for tex­ting while driv­ing.

Char­ity Brake said us­ing a phone while be­hind the wheel – ei­ther speak­ing or tex­ting – is as dan­ger­ous as drinkdriv­ing.

David Evans cap­tured the driv­ing while cy­cling along Ar­broath Road last week and posted the video on­line.

Mr Evans wrote: “The driver al­most pulls out in front of me whilst tap-tap-tap­ping on his mo­bile phone.

“As he passes me he’s still tap-tap-tap­ping away (must be some­thing im­por­tant he has to say to some­one).

“Pull up at him on the lights and he’s still tex­ting.”

The coun­cil van over­takes the cy­clist on Ar­broath Road but Mr Wells catches up with it at the junc­tion with Al­bert Street.

He can then be heard telling the driver: “Tex­ting and driv­ing is a bit dan­ger­ous, all right?”

Al­though the video it­self moves too fast for the driver to be clearly seen, the screen­grab we were supplied shows the driver with the phone in his right hand while stopped at Ar­broath Road’s junc­tion with Al­bert Street.

Stud­ies have shown that driv­ers’ re­ac­tion times are 35% slower when tex­ting.

One study even found they were 23 times more likely to be in­volved in a col­li­sion than a driver con­cen­trat­ing on the road.

Ja­son Wake­ford, spokesman for Brake, the road safety char­ity, said: “Us­ing a mo­bile at the wheel puts peo­ple’s lives at risk.

“It’s also il­le­gal and, since March, mo­torists caught tex­ting or call­ing while driv­ing could now end up with six points on their li­cence, a £200 fine or a ban.

“Re­search shows that us­ing a phone be­hind the wheel af­fects re­ac­tion times as much as drink-driv­ing, in­creas­ing the chances of a deadly crash.

“Brake urges mo­torists to put mo­biles on silent and out of reach when in the car, to keep fo­cused on the road.”

A Dundee City Coun­cil spokes­woman said the in­ci­dent would be in­ves­ti­gated.

She said: “We take re­ports of this na­ture very se­ri­ously and ev­ery in­ci­dent is in­ves­ti­gated.

“Through our Oc­cu­pa­tional Road Risk, guid­ance is pro­vided to as­sist and sup­port our driv­ers, en­sur­ing the safety to other roads users, pedes­tri­ans, pas­sen­gers and the driver.”

In this grabbed still from the video the phone is in the driver’s right hand.

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