Costly moment of inattention

PUBLISHED: 11:18 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 12:18 04 May 2010

MOTORIST Mark Curtis was retrieving his mobile phone from the floor of his car when he ploughed into the back of a queuing car. Curtis, who had not been wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, then came off the road, and collided with a telegraph

MOTORIST Mark Curtis was retrieving his mobile phone from the floor of his car when he ploughed into the back of a queuing car.

Curtis, who had not been wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, then came off the road, and collided with a telegraph pole.

The 40-year-old broke his heel in the crash, and both cars were damaged.

"He bent down to pick up the phone, and took his eyes off the road," prosecutor Yetunde Fawehinmi told Ely magistrates.

"He did not realise the traffic had come to a halt," she said. "He tried to avoid a collision with the Rover car in front of him; he hit the vehicle, left the road and collided with a telegraph pole."

After the accident, Curtis told police he had not been using his mobile phone at the time, but was distracted when it fell out of its holder.

Curtis, of Knowle Court, Littleport, admitted driving carelessly on the A10 at Ely on September 20 last year.

The court heard he had been unable to accept the chance of taking a driver's proficiency course after the accident, because his injury meant he was unable to drive. Curtis was fined £100 with £100 costs and six points were endorsed on his licence.

Announcing the bench's decision, chairman Dr Christine Shaw told Curtis: "I am sure you don't need us to tell you the consequences of a moment's inattention.

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