Harborough District councillors say they are “appalled” after a bin lorry driver heading back to a depot in Market Harborough was filmed chatting on his mobile phone as he steered his 32-tonne truck one-handed along the A427. (WARNING: VIDEO BELOW DOES CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE).
Neil Bannister, the councillor responsible for environmental services for the district council, said: “I’m waiting for the full facts, but on the face of it, it looks appalling.
WARNING: VIDEO DOES CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE
“I want (council refuse collection firm) FCC Environment to investigate speedily and tell us what they are going to do about it.
Opposition councillor Sarah Hill added: “Given that using a mobile phone at the wheel is what police call one of the “fatal four”, it’s really very worrying.
“I’m appalled and the council needs to be confident that FCC Environment will investigate quickly and thoroughly.”
The film, which is on YouTube, shows the driver casually chatting on his phone as he steers his lorry one-handed past recognisable local landmarks including Manor Farm near Brampton Ash on the A427, five miles east of Market Harborough.
The driver casually chats with a friend, chuckling as he tells him to “put in for that supervisor’s job”.
At one point he even says “I’m f-ing daydreaming this morning” as he drives at speed past traffic on the A-road.
The clip is also on the website of national newspaper The Mirror, who say it was filmed by a former FCC Environment employee in September, 2016.
A spokesperson for FCC Environment said: “We are grateful that this video footage has come to light and we will now conduct a full investigation into this incident. Until we have done this we can not comment further.”
The four police forces of the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS) - which includes both Northamptonshire and Leicestershire - have just announced their support for a national campaign to raise awareness about tough new penalties for driving while using a mobile phone.
Chief Inspector Mark Garthwaite, the lead for roads policing within EMOpSS said; “We want to draw attention to the risks drivers are taking by using their mobile phone while driving.”
Jonathan Clarkson, spokesperson for the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Road Safety Partnership, said; “Despite our best efforts to educate motorists as to the dangers of being distracted by using a mobile phone while driving, Leicestershire Police recorded 2,399 mobile phone offences in the three years from January 2014 to December 2016.
“We fully support this national campaign and hope that it helps reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”