A 21 year old driver has been jailed for dangerous driving after posting a video of himself driving a car filled with smoke, on Facebook. Charlie Jones admitted to being stupid but did not believe that his actions amounted to dangerous driving. The caption that he posted with the video read “CLASSIC NEARLY DIED TWICE” and a member of the public that saw the video reported it to police, who identified Jones and arrested him.
A number of groups have expressed concerns over people taking selfies and even videos of themselves while driving, and courts have been quick to prosecute that are caught doing this. It is an offence to use a mobile phone or camera in this way, and drivers that are breaking the law in other ways will have additional charges to face if the police can prove their actions.
Charlie Jones was driving his Vauxhall Astra with a friend, who set off a fire extinguisher. Jones was driving the vehicle and videoing the footage on his mobile phone at the same time. He was heard laughing hysterically throughout the video, which he later posted on his Facebook account. On seeing the video, a member of the public reported it to police, who investigated, gathered evidence, and arrested him.
Mr Jones of Peacehaven was found guilty, by the courts, of dangerous driving. He was sentenced to 10 weeks in jail, banned from driving for 18 months, and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge. PC Anna Batchelor said that Jones had accepted “he was stupid but did not accept that his driving was dangerous.” And went on to say that “what Jones did was reckless and could have had serious consequences.”
Dangerous driving carries a maximum two year sentence, with further penalties for those that cause death by dangerous driving. Mandatory disqualification also requires that the driver pass an extended retest before they are permitted to drive again. Driving while using a mobile phone is considered a risk because it means that the driver is not paying full attention to the road; especially dangerous if the car is already filled with smoke.