Police say they will report drivers who were spotted using their mobile phones to film a school bus fire as they drove past it on the A90.
The double-decker went up in flames while heading to Perth High School on Thursday morning.
The blaze destroyed the vehicle, with the Stagecoach driver branded a “hero” for helping to get pupils to safety.
The incident led to long tailbacks as parts of the road were shut for more than six hours.
‘Numerous drivers’ filmed scene on mobiles
On Friday, Police Scotland took to social media to warn drivers they could face a fine if they used their phones on the A90 while passing the bus fire.
The post said: “While Perth [road policing] and Dundee RP were dealing with a serious vehicle fire on the A90 between Perth and Dundee, numerous drivers were observed driving past filming the scene using their mobile phones.
“All of these drivers will be spoken to and reported in due course.”
The incident happened the day before stricter rules came into force on the use of mobile phones while driving across Scotland, England and Wales.
As of Friday, it is against the law to use a mobile for almost any reason behind the wheel – previously, the ban only applied to communication, such as phoning or texting.
However, officers could still target people under the old legislation if they feel the driver was responsible for offences like careless driving or not being in full control of their vehicle.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Using a mobile phone and driving while distracted is a contributing factor in a number of serious incidents on the roads.
“We will carry out inquiries into the use of mobile phones by drivers noted while officers were dealing with the incident on the A90.
I hope those caught recording the fire are fully prosecuted for their stupidity
“Anyone identified as having committed an offence can expect to be reported to the procurator fiscal.”
In response to the post by police, locals have praised officers for targeting those responsible.
Helen Clayes wrote: “Why on earth would you even want to slow down and film such a serious incident?
“Well done to all who were involved in the rescue and safety of the children.”
Dave Beattie posted: “How handy that a new law comes in to force today.
“I hope those caught recording the fire are fully prosecuted for their stupidity.”
Lynne Barton said: “Quite right. Whether the law has just changed or not, you’re not supposed to use your phone while driving anyway, never mind what you’re doing on it. Dangerous, end of.”
What do the new rules mean?
Drivers can now face prosecution – including a fine of up to £1,000 and six penalty points – for activities on their phone including:
- Checking the time
- Unlocking the device
- Using the camera, video or sound recording equipment
- Accessing an app or the internet
A driver’s licence can be revoked after two offences.
A few exceptions apply, such as in an emergency.
It is part of what the UK Government is calling a “zero-tolerance approach” to the use of phones behind the wheel.