A number of drivers caught filming a lorry fire on a motorway using their mobile phones could now face prosecution.
At least twelve motorists were using their phones while behind the wheel on the M4 near Swindon to capture the blaze and were described by police as ‘idiots’.
In their rush to get the best ‘action’ shots, some of the drivers even smashed into traffic cones which police had placed around the burning truck.
But the officers noted their number plates and say the offenders should now be expecting letters in the post.
Wiltshire Police posted about the incident on Twitter this morning, saying: “Following the lorry fire on the M4 a number of vehicles ended up striking the cones on the road too busy staring and filming the burnt lorry, due to a few near misses 12 drivers can now expect to hear from us for being on their mobile phone!”
DORSET AND WILTSHIRE FIRE SERVICE)
The fire broke out between junctions 15 and 14 of the M4 on July 17, after a lorry, loaded with hydrogen fuel cylinders, burst into flames, closing the motorway in both directions as fire crews rushed to the scene.
No-one was hurt but queues stretched back miles as police shut down the 15-mile stretch between Swindon and Hungerford.
People were seen getting out of their vehicles and sitting on the central reservation, despite warnings by officers to stay in their cars.
At the time, Highways England said on Twitter: “Please approach the area with caution and if you are in the stopped traffic, please do not leave your vehicles.
“Due to the nature of the fire and the contents of the lorry we are looking to start installing full closures of the M4 in both directions between J14 and J15.
“If you are in the trapped traffic please bear with us, we will work to get you moving soon.”
The incident caused heavy delays around the area, with traffic also busy in Marlborough and Hungerford as drivers tried to take alternative routes to get to their destinations. The eastbound side, which was closed for longer, was reopened just after 6pm.