Driving while filming: Dutch ‘rubberneckers’ fined

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Drivers were found filming an accident on the A16 close to Breda

Twenty-three motorists have been fined 239 euros (£204) each for using their phones to film the scene of an accident in the Netherlands.

Police spotted drivers using their phones in this way on the A16 highway.

The accident happened at midday when a truck’s trailer was blown onto its side by high winds, blocking the road close to the city of Breda.

The fine was based on the penalty given to those using their mobiles behind the wheel without hands-free equipment.

Police officers took down the licence plate numbers of the drivers seen capturing footage of the accident.

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A police officer said: “We only started taking them down when we had finished handling the accident and we had our hands free.

“So I am sure that there were more than the 23 drivers we have now caught.”

Under Dutch rules, officers can only take down a vehicle’s licence plate when they have stopped the car and written a ticket. However officers received permission from the public prosecutor to take action.

The move comes after police in the country said that people filming incidents were getting in the way of their work.

Last year, police shared their shock at passersby filming officers trying to resuscitate a man who had collapsed in a restaurant in The Hague.

In the UK, being caught “rubbernecking” or filming the scene of an accident from a vehicle can result in prosecution and large fines, and in some cases a driver can have their phone seized.

In October 2018, a man was ordered to pay a £395 fine, £85 police costs and a £40 victim surcharge after he filmed the scene of an accident in Nottingham despite officers asking him not to.

He was also disqualified from driving for six months and had his phone seized.