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20 June 2015, 05:52
More than 40 drivers are to be prosecuted after being seen filming or slowing down to look at the scene of a serious crash on the M25 at Thurrock.
A lorry driver was injured and trapped in his cab following a collision involving two other HGVs at about 4.40am on Thursday June 18.
The clockwise carriageway was closed until just before 2pm while emergency services dealt with the incident and cleared the road.
But as traffic moved slowly past the scene on a diversion route and on the anticlockwise carriageway officers noticed many drivers slowing down to film or video the scene on mobile phones and also to look at the crash scene, known as "rubber-necking".
Offending drivers will now been receiving warnings in the post that they will be summonsed to court for careless driving or for using a mobile phone while driving.
Adam Pipe, Casualty Reduction Manager for Essex Police said: "Officers dealing with this serious collision were shocked and disappointed at the behaviour of drivers passing the scene.
"Although vehicles were passing slowly, the offending drivers were distracted and could easily have caused further crashes that could have caused injury or added to delays. They were not in proper control of their vehicles and that means they were driving carelessly.
"One driver was seen driving forwards but looking backwards and weaving from lane to lane. Others were holding up phones and either taking photographs or videos of the crash scene.
"This shows no respect for the casualties and the emergency services working to free the injured driver and to clear the damaged vehicles.
"Filming crashes and putting images straight on to social media can also lead to the families of crash victims finding out what has happened to their loved ones before they can be traced and contacted by police officers.
"We take these offences very seriously and will continue to prosecute anyone we seen filming and rubber-necking at the scene of any crashes or other emergencies."