Beds, Herts & Bucks

Mother's crusade against drivers using mobile phones

Kate Goldsmith joins police patrol
Image caption Kate Goldsmith joined traffic police during a patrol to clampdown on drivers using mobile phones.

The mother of a girl who died in a road crash has joined traffic officers in the fight against drivers using mobile phones at the wheel.

Kate Goldsmith's daughter Aimee, 11, as well as her stepbrothers and their mother, were killed on the A34 in Berkshire when a lorry ploughed into stationary traffic.

Tomasz Kroker was looking at his phone screen. He was jailed for 10 years.

At the time, Mrs Goldsmith referred to Kroker's lorry as a "lethal weapon".

She is now campaigning to encourage motorists not to use their mobile phones while driving.

She joined officers from the Beds, Herts and Cambs Road Policing Unit on a traffic patrol to catch drivers flouting the law.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Aimee Goldsmith died on the A34 in Berkshire last August.

Mrs Goldsmith watched as a man on his phone was pulled over. He told police he was a professional lorry driver and was worried he would lose his job.

"I have some sympathy that he might lose his job now, but I'd rather him lose his job than kill someone driving whilst texting," she said.

Another driver claimed she was using her phone as a sat nav.

Motorists now caught using their phone while driving face six points on their licence - as well as a £200 fine - after the penalties were doubled in March.

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Sgt Doug Fishwick, of the Beds, Herts and Cambs Roads Policing Unit said: "People have got into the habit.

"I don't think they appreciate the danger of it and they're so used to using their phones and are constantly on it."

Aimee was killed as she was returning from a family camping trip last August.

Image caption Aimee Goldsmith died with three family members when a lorry driver on his phone ploughed into stationary traffic on the A34 last August.

She died instantly alongside her stepbrothers Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, and their mother Tracy Houghton, 45.

Her father Mark Goldsmith and brother Jake, 13, were travelling in a car behind which was also struck by Kroker's lorry.

Kroker was convicted at Reading Crown Court in October. Judge Maura McGowan described the crash as the most horrific she had seen.

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