Motor Industry News
Motorists have been warned not to use a mobile phone for texting after a driver was convicted of causing the death of a teenage cyclist by dangerous driving.
Kiera Coultas, 25, faces a jail sentence after she knocked down and killed Jordan Wickington, 19, after she failed to spot him at a busy junction because she was sending a text at the time. Coultas, a hotel manager, admitted driving BMW at 45mph in a 30mph limit when she hit the cyclist in Southampton in February last year.
Sentence on the case has been deferred until February 29 but at Southampton Crown Court Judge Jeremy Burford QC warned a custodial sentence was likely.
According to Alison West, of Hampshire Constabulary's road death investigation team it is now routine for officers to seize drivers' mobile phones at the scene of serious accidents and to have them analysed to see if the phone has had anything to do with the driving standards involved. "It is recommended that drivers switched off their mobile phones during journeys," she said.
Endangering others, while using a handheld mobile phone, satellite navigation system or iPod, while in control of a vehicle can now be treated as dangerous driving rather than careless driving. The change means drivers face up to two years in prison instead of the £5,000 and penalty points under a careless driving prosecution.
Mycarcheck.com, the car check company, support the "safety-first - no non hands-free mobile phone while driving" approach.