Boston
September 24, 2020 11.20 am

Councillor driving during online meeting still under investigation

The councillor already stepped down

A Boston councillor caught driving while attending a virtual meeting has not been arrested, charged or summonsed to court more than two weeks later.

Councillor David Brown stepped down from his  role as Portfolio Holder for Tourism Arts and Culture at Boston Borough Council on Friday, September 11, after admitting he “shouldn’t have joined” a virtual cabinet meeting the Wednesday prior.

The meeting was live-streamed and the video in full later appeared on the council’s YouTube channel.

The incident was reported by various people to both Lincolnshire Police and Boston Borough Council.

Spokespeople for both organisations confirmed there had been no updates to their respective investigations into the incident by Thursday, September 24.

In the footage, the vehicle Councillor Brown is sat in is clearly moving.

Councillor Brown has his hands on the wheel, however, on several occasions he fiddles with the device he is using to attend the meeting, moving it closer to his face and readjusting its position.

This goes on for 20 minutes before Councillor Brown disappears from view.

When he reappears it looks like he has parked up for the rest of the meeting.

The initial incident sparked outrage from opposition councillors and members of the public with some saying the resignation from cabinet “did not go far enough” and warning that the incident could have “ended in tragedy”.

According to the law, it is illegal to hold a phone while driving or riding a motorcycle. Hands-free devices can be used but must be set up prior to driving.

Rule 149 of the Highway Code states drivers must exercise proper control of their vehicles, noting that hands-free equipment is “also likely to distract your attention.

Rule 150 also  states drivers are in danger of being distracted by in vehicle systems including PCs and other multi-media devices.

Drivers risk getting six penalty points and a £200 fine for using a hand-held phone while driving or three penalty points if they don’t have full view of the road or proper control.

They can also be taken to court where they can face a driving ban and up to £2,500 fine for driving a lorry.

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