Police chief calls for drivers
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using mobiles to be sacked
By Chr._ iindaLL
LGV DRIVERS WHO use a mobile phone while driving should be sacked, according to the chief constable of Essex police.
Stephen Kavanagh said his officers were constantly re-enforcing the message about not using mobile phones while driving and that haulage companies should take a tougher stance.
"Some of the behaviour that goes on, such as texting, conversations that can wait and people who are connecting to Bluetooth, is lazy, and it leads to cyclists and [pedestrians] being killed on our streets," he said. "Professional agencies that employ people who are caught using mobile phones should dismiss them. "Professional drivers should behave in a professional manner, and the companies that employ
them should reinforce these messages. We have to re-enforce this constantly," Kavanagh said. Essex police and crime commissioner Nick Alston also backed the
move: "[It's] an interesting idea, and one we should follow up." However, both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Road Haulage
Association (RHA) said dismissals should only be considered following the results of a disciplinary inquiry.
"As far as the RHA is concerned, there's no excuse for the misuse of mobile phones," said policy director Jack Semple.
"That should be made clear in employment contracts, and we make it clear in specimen contract we draw up for members."
Semple continued: "In terms of the consequences, lorry drivers face more serious penalties than other motorists so, as a rule of thumb, their vocational licence is likely to be suspended for three weeks by a traffic commissioner for a first offence.
"The consequences are already significant."