A ‘speed camera’ van driver has been caught ‘scrolling through Facebook’ while travelling along a dual carriageway ‘at 60mph’.
Simeon Haughton and his business partner Liam Rudge were on the A55 on their way to Chester on Tuesday when they drove past the vehicle decorated with blue and fluorescent yellow markings, images of cameras and the words ‘Retail Crime Unit’ and ‘ANPR’ (for automatic number plate recognition) on the bodywork.
The female private security driver appeared to have her phone in her hand and Mr Haughton, 32, started filming as they pulled alongside the van. The pair were in hysterics at the hypocrisy of an ANPR driver appearing to break the law.
The footage shows the woman with only one hand on the wheel and the other seemingly ‘scrolling’ on her mobile as she drove ‘between 50 and 60mph’.
Simeon Haughton and his business partner Liam Rudge were on the A55 on their way to Chester on Tuesday when they drove past the vehicle plastered in blue and fluorescent yellow markings and the words ‘Retail Crime Unit’ on each side
Apparently panicking at being caught out, the driver then quickly dropped the mobile out of her hand and glared back at Mr Haughton.
Realising she was being filmed, the motorist then pulled a black scarf over her mouth and nose to try and hide her face.
When the clip went viral on Facebook, racking up almost 3,500 likes and comments, many mistook it as a police van due to the blue and fluorescent yellow marking, camera signs and Retail Crime Unit notice.
But a spokesperson for Cheshire Police confirmed the van was not a police vehicle and was likely owned by a private security firm.
Still, Mr Haughton and Mr Rudge were both left audibly in hysterics at the irony of catching even a private security worker seemingly using her phone at the wheel.
Mr Haughton said: ‘We were gobsmacked to be honest. You just don’t expect to see something like that.
Shocking footage shows the woman with only one hand on the wheel and the other seemingly ‘scrolling’ on her mobile as she drives ‘between 50 and 60mph’ (left). Apparently panicking at being caught out, the driver then quickly drops the mobile (right)
‘She obviously saw us filming her and quickly dropped the phone. Because we continued to film her, she pulled her neck scarf up over her face.
‘She clearly knew she’d been rumbled. If we’d have been caught doing the same thing we’d have been hit with a fine. It’s like she thought it’s one rule for them, one for everyone else.
‘We couldn’t believe it. We were on our way to our Chester gym to do renovations while it’s closed. She was probably driving between 50-60mph.
‘We first drove past it and I noticed at the corner of my eye that the screen was bright. She had it in her lap but because the window was quite low you could she was scrolling through Facebook.’
Since being uploaded to social media, more than 560,000 people have viewed the footage with many quick to point out the hypocrisy of her driving while using her phone.
One comment said: ‘One rule for them not for all of us hay[sic].’
Realising she is being filmed, the motorist pulls a black scarf over her mouth and nose to try and hide her face as Mr Haughton continues to film
Another person wrote: ‘She must be charged dangerously driving while using mobile phone & must b fired from her job. They should taste their own medicine[sic].’
One person wrote: ‘Do as I say, not as I do! Comes to mind!!!’
A spokesperson for Cheshire Police confirmed it wasn’t a police van or officer in the vehicle. They said: ‘We are looking into the circumstances of the footage circulating of a driver in a private security company vehicle.
‘Cheshire Police has recently taken part in a month-long national crackdown against road users using mobile phones.
‘It is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving. If you are caught you will face the prospect of a £200 fine and six penalty points on your licence. If you are under 21, you could lose your licence.’