A man who caused a traffic accident that killed four people was so distracted by his mobile phone, he barely looked at the road for almost a kilometre.
You need to let that statement sink in a little to understand how truly terrifying this is: he didn’t glance at his phone for a moment, or even a few seconds.
Tomasz Kroker spent dozens of seconds glued to his phone while driving his truck, and as a result he has shattered an entire family.
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He’s been sentenced to 10 years in jail this week over the accident, which was captured on his truck’s internal camera.
There is only one saving grace in this story: the victims Tracy Houghton, 45, her sons, Ethan, 13, Josh, 11, and her stepdaughter, Aimee, 11, all died instantly when his truck crashed into them, travelling almost 80km/hour.
It’s a tragic situation because Tomasz never intended for such a terrible accident to happen. He wasn’t a murderer. He didn’t intend to hurt anyone. He was only a new father himself, a real family man.
But when he got behind the wheel of his truck to go to work, he didn’t tuck his phone away. As a result he got distracted and didn’t pay attention to the road, and his truck crushed and killed a mum and her three children.
And the worst part is, almost everyone reading this story right now can relate to this.
We’ve all been guilty of using our mobile phones when driving, whether it’s to make a phone call on speaker, send a quick text or even check emails.
Smart phones are ever-present and addictive. In my view, they’re becoming a scourge on society because they’re doing a lot of damage to our attention spans – or more accurately, the lack thereof.
As the family of the victims said in a statement: “The sentence of 10 years in prison will not ease our pain and suffering, nor we do we believe it will send a strong enough message to those who lack the self-restraint to not use their mobile phones while driving.”
That’s all this boils down to: self-restraint. Mobile phone use in cars is as dangerous as drink driving. It’s time law enforcement caught up because we need harsher penalties – especially to repeat offenders.