Two-year ban for mobile phone crash driver
A driver who ploughed into another car at Froxfield while using his mobile phone has escaped jail.
But Keith Burdess (47) from Rowde, near Devizes, has been banned from driving for two years after the crash, which left him and another man with ‘life-changing’ injuries.
At Salisbury Crown Court on July 14, Burdess – who will have to retake his driving test when his ban is over – admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving driving.
The court heard he was driving a Mini Countryman on the A4 from Froxfield towards Marlborough at 4pm on September 11 last year when he crossed the central double white line and collided with a Mercedes C220.
Police officers found that the Burdess's mobile phone was live prior to the collision, and a seven minute 56 second mobile phone call ended at the time of the collision.
The phone was not linked to the vehicle's Bluetooth facility. The call was tracked and started around five miles before the collision.
After the court hearing, PC Will Ayres of Wiltshire Police said: “The driver of the Mercedes sustained severe injuries which have dramatically changed his life forever.
"It has been a very tough time for the victim, his business and his whole family.
“This collision sadly shows the devastating result of using a mobile phone whilst driving and shows an obvious distraction to the offending driver in this collision.
"Drivers using mobile phones not only risk penalty points, convictions and potentially prison but all too often we deal with serious collisions where serious/fatal injuries occur where mobile phone use has been a contributing factor.
“I urge all drivers who may be tempted to use a mobile phone whilst driving to look at the attached images and to put their phone out or reach or sight,” said PC Ayres.
“We find that often drivers committing the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving say the same thing, ‘it was only a quick call/text’ or ‘it was only a few seconds’.
"The distraction might only take a few seconds but the consequences can last a life time.”