Monday 16 September 2019

Car crash gawpers could face bans after road shame

'Drivers currently face fines for blocking emergency services and photographing the injured without their consent, as well as using mobile phones at the wheel.' (Stock photo)
'Drivers currently face fines for blocking emergency services and photographing the injured without their consent, as well as using mobile phones at the wheel.' (Stock photo)

Justin Huggler

Road crash ghouls who film accidents on mobile phones should be banned, politicians in Germany say.

MPs have called for those who block emergency services by trying to film to have their driving licences suspended and their phones confiscated.

"Gawpers who enjoy accident misery and block police and rescue workers by filming the suffering of others must be punished with a one-month driving ban," Alexander Graf Lambsdorff of the opposition Free Democrat party (FDP) told 'Bild' newspaper.

Drivers currently face fines for blocking emergency services and photographing the injured without their consent, as well as using mobile phones at the wheel.

The German government is considering changes in the law to ban photographing the dead. But government and opposition MPs argue the changes don't go far enough.

"Anyone who films accidents and is intoxicated by the suffering of their fellow human beings, lacks any decency and respect," said Marc Henrichmann of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party.

"In such cases, driving bans or the confiscation of their mobiles as a signal of the rule of law should not be taboo."

The call comes after a number of incidents in which police and rescue workers have accused onlookers of blocking them.

In one incident, a senior police officer in Bavaria was hailed as a hero after he shamed drivers into stopping filming the aftermath of a motorway accident in which a lorry driver was killed.

Stefan Pfeiffer told motorists who had stopped to film to get out of their cars if they wanted a close-up of the dead man.

"We have to make it clear that it's not a game out there," he said.

Irish Independent

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