08000 93 00 94
Call us to discuss your claim
08000 93 00 94 Enquire Now

Mobile Phones and Driving - Why are people still ignoring the dangers?

October 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

This is one topic that really does make my blood boil. I cannot believe how much there has been in the press recently about innocent people being the victims of mobile phone users behind the wheel. Why do these people never learn? Why do they not stop for a moment and realise how much of a distraction there mobile phone is and how much of a risk they are taking when using it whilst driving.

This week I read the article about the cyclist from Hampshire, Lee Martin, who was killed by a van driver using his mobile phone in 2015. I was even more shocked to read that the driver had still been allowed to continue driving despite six previous convictions for using a phone at the wheel. I ask myself, why was this driver not given a driving ban sooner? It’s taken six previous convictions and the death of an innocent man to get people like this off the road.

I also read about the lorry driver who got distracted opening a text message and crashed into an off-duty police officer’s car in June 2014. Sadly the police officer was killed. The lorry driver was recently jailed for 6 years.

Why not wait until you have stopped driving before opening up a text message or answering a call? Is this just not common sense? That split second of distraction is enough to cause a serious accident or kill someone.

Interestingly there has then been the recent announcement from the Government that drivers caught using phones will face double points and fines. Offenders will get 6 points and face a fine of £200 as opposed to the current 3 points and a £100 fine. In my opinion this still isn’t a tough enough penalty to stop offenders and won’t deter them from continuing to use their phone behind the wheel. Personally I think the only way to try and make people realise the dangers is to put them on an immediate ban, just like you would a drink driver.

I have driven for many years now and I definitely see more people using mobile phones whilst driving than I ever have before, and to be honest the offenders seem to be older rather than the younger inexperienced drivers. What kind of example are we setting?

Things really have to change and if people realise the much tougher penalties of getting caught it might just save a few more lives.

Brake, the road safety charity has a link on their website to sign a petition to strengthen sentencing for criminal drivers who kill or cause serious injuries. I urge people to sign this. The more people that do, the more chance there is of changes to the criminal driving laws and stronger sentencing.

Road Safety Week is coming up between 21st and 27th November. This is a fantastic event where you can involve your local community, schools and even your workplace to raise awareness about what we can all do to prevent tragedies and how to make our roads safer. I am delighted to be going into a local school next month to give a talk to Key stage 1 and 2 children to ensure they have a good understanding on road safety.

About the author

Laura Reaney  photo Laura Reaney is a litigator within Spencers Solicitors Complex Injury team. Laura has extensive experience in dealing with claimants that have complex and serious injuries, and over the years has worked on various cases including those involving back and spinal injuries.

Laura's last blog was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Posted in: Blog

Tags: ,

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 6, 2016 at 11:00 AM

It’s that time of year again when we think ‘Pink’. This is a fantastic campaign to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. This is a topic very close to my heart after spending the last few years watching my best friend go through cancer twice. I think I was a little naive when it came to knowing what a diagnosis of breast cancer really meant until I saw Louise go through it firsthand.

It was just before Christmas in 2013 when Louise walked through my front door after a hospital appointment and told me that the tests had come back positive. She was 33 and had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the 20 years of friendship never have I seen her look so broken. I was devastated. Thoughts were going round in my head about what the diagnosis really meant? What would the treatment involve? How ill was it going to make her? What would I need to do to support her? What if I said the wrong thing to her? How was she going to tell her 3 year old daughter?

From the day she was diagnosed I stood by her every step of the way. She endured numerous operations, intense chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery; endless hospital appointments, the side effect of treatment, the list was just endless.

Louise Mallender and her friend Laura Reaney

It was heartbreaking watching her go through all this but I had to stay strong for her. Louise was such an inspiration. She coped with every bit of indignity, she remained positive and tried to keep life as normal as possible for her daughter and family.

Finally it was all over. She could finally start living a normal life again until 6 months later and the cancer had returned. Everything came crashing back down and treatment had to start all over again. This meant more intense chemotherapy, radiotherapy and an operation to remove her ovaries. On top of all this Louise also found out that she had the BRCA1 gene which increased her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the future. Despite everything she stayed focus on getting through treatment again and never gave up. Louise is now cancer free and enjoying life. She is a true inspiration.

I have learnt so many things about breast cancer these last few years, things I didn’t even know. Until you know someone who has been through it I don’t think you can fully appreciate how much it changes you and your body forever. Weight gain, hair loss, mastectomies, lymphoedema, plus the psychological effect and fear and anxiety you have about the cancer returning; are to name but a few of the permanent after effects of treatment.

This is why it is so important we all continue to campaign to raise awareness and raise money to fund much needed research into such an awful life disease.

I know Louise had a fantastic support network throughout the whole journey, especially from the Lymphoedema team at Ashgate Hospicecare who gave her advice on ways to reduce the swelling in her hand and arm and also to The Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline.

Ashgate Hospice Logo

Ashgate Hospice provides specialist care, support and advice to people going through cancer and other illnesses. What they do is truly amazing. Spencers Solicitors has agreed to take part in the “Sponsor a Nurse” for the hospice and to show our support we are holding a coffee morning on Friday 18th November at our office in Chesterfield.

Last week we held a McMillan Coffee Morning and invited family, friends and local businesses to come and join us for coffee and cake. The event was a huge success and raised a total £536.00.

We must not forget that this week is ‘Hospice Care Week’ across the whole country and the purpose of this is to highlight the work the hospices do and help people really understand what hospice care is all about.

Here at Spencers we aim to continue supporting cancer charities as it something close to our hearts.

About the author

Laura Reaney  photo Laura Reaney is a litigator within Spencers Solicitors Complex Injury team. Laura has extensive experience in dealing with claimants that have complex and serious injuries, and over the years has worked on various cases including those involving back and spinal injuries.

Laura's last blog was Sniffing out a Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury - Two Years On.


Supporting the Macmillan Coffee Morning 2016

September 30, 2016 at 5:00 PM

For the fourth year running, Spencers held its annual coffee morning on Friday 30th September as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s largest fundraising event.

By transforming the Spencers’ cafe area into a makeshift coffee shop to serve drinks and treats, Spencers’ employees both past and present, families and friends and representatives of local businesses including neighbours from Spire Walk Business Park, all joined in with the day’s festivities which included:-

•  A plethora of mouth-watering homemade cakes and scones available for that special Friday treat

•  The gruelling ‘Cryptic Food’ quiz and ‘Spot the Cake’ competition

•  Raffle tickets scattered all over the office in the hope of winning the luxury raffle, with the top prizes being prosecco and high street vouchers.

Now that the sugar and caffeine crashes have started to take effect, Spencers is delighted to confirm that we were able to raise an impressive £536 for Macmillan.

Our thanks must go to everybody in the office and especially Stephanie Otter, Hayley Millard and Dominic O’ Neil who were the main organisers for the day, and everyone who provided goodies for the occasion.

Please help support Macmillan by making an online donation today and view more photos from the day on our Pinterest board.

© 2016 Spencers Solicitors Limited trading as Spencers Solicitors. Registered in England and Wales No. 06059110. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. 00466097). This website uses cookies to store information on your device, please read our privacy policy for further details and on how to opt out. Sitemap.