Man brushing teeth while driving
Police image of a man brushing his teeth with an electric toothbrush while driving Northamptonshire Police

Police in Northamptonshire have released an image of a man they say was driving distracted past a school – because he was brushing his teeth. As funny as the image might be, police noted that the distraction could have caused a serious accident.

Northamptonshire Police said they were releasing the image of highlight the dangers of distracted driving. In late March 2017, one of the force's mobile enforcement vans captured the picture of the man who appears to be using an electric toothbrush as he drives in the village of Deanshanger.

Police said his route took him past a school just after 4pm, suggesting there may have been numerous children along his way. The driver chose to undertake a driver improvement course, which police said "aims to educate drivers about their behaviour and change attitudes behind the wheel".

"Distractions make it harder for drivers to spot hazards and react quickly," PC David Lee, of the force's Safer Roads Team, said. "Most people understand that using a mobile phone or eating when you're driving is distracting, but the range of dangerous things we see people doing behind the wheel is ridiculous.

"This incident might look funny at first, but doing anything other than concentrating on the road when you're driving could result in a serious or even fatal collision.

"We take action against drivers like this on a daily basis to help keep everyone safer on Northamptonshire's roads, and I'd urge everyone to think twice before trying to multi-task behind the wheel. It's not safe, it could be illegal, and it could cost someone their life."

According to police, undertaking other activities while you're driving slows down your reaction time. If you're on your phone, that slows your reaction time by 50%. If police think you're not in control because of a distraction, they can stop you and you can be prosecuted.