Cab driver who crashed while doing a school run was using her phone at the wheel

PUBLISHED: 05:30 06 July 2019

Rahena Begum, 45, from Ipswich, pleaded guilty in her absence at Ipswich Magistrates' Court on July 5 Picture: ARCHANT

Rahena Begum, 45, from Ipswich, pleaded guilty in her absence at Ipswich Magistrates' Court on July 5 Picture: ARCHANT

A woman who drove her taxi onto the wrong side of the road while on her phone could be banned from driving.

Rahena Begum, of Dickens Road in Ipswich, was driving on the A1092 in Cavendish on the morning of December 10, 2018.

The 45-year-old was working as a taxi driver for a company contracted to carry out school runs in Suffolk.

Usually driving between Ipswich and Stowmarket, she told the court in a written statement she was asked to carry out a different journey and had to take two children to Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard.

After getting lost and having to check the postcode of the school with the cab company, she started using her phone as a satnav rather than the TomTom device she had in the car, which she said had no GPS signal and would not work.

Begum was holding her phone in her hand when she veered her Ford Galaxy onto the wrong side for the A1092 and collided with a Nissan Navara travelling on the opposite side of the road.

The crash left the children with minor injuries but the damage to the cars was so extensive that both had to be written off.

Begum said that following the collision "the children's safety was her priority" and she wanted to make sure they were OK.

Not in attendance at Ipswich Magistrates court, Begum pleaded guilty to two charges on July 5, of driving without due care and attention and driving while using a mobile phone, and must return to court on July 26 for sentencing.

Chairman of the bench Anne Ng retained the possibility of disqualifying Begum from driving due to the severity of the incident.

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