A driver using a hands-free device during an "in-depth chat" with a friend killed motorcyclist David Kirk. Samantha Ayres has been warned to prepare for a jail sentence after she was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. The judge has also branded hands-free phones used behind the wheel as "dangerous" in this landmark legal case.
Commenting on the judgement, Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "This tragic case graphically illustrates the dangers of using a mobile – even hands free – at the wheel. Studies show that a driver's reaction time when using a hands free kit can be even slower than when drink driving. It's high time the law is extended to ban all mobile phone use in the car – no phone call or text is worth a life."
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.