Geriatrix wrote: ... What circumstances would be considered as "avoidably and dangerously distracted"? I have found that some close overtakes could be attributed to mobile phone use. Do you think that prosecutions could result if there is supporting video evidence?
I simply don't know.
For most of the history of driving, prosectuions for "due care" etc., were largely restricted to cases invoving a collision. (I did check the stuff in my link carefully to see if it was only referring to cases involving serious injury before I posted.) Then we reached a stage where even that counted for little. There was a downward spiral in the enforcement of road traffic law and the attitude of the CPS played a significant part in that. ie police officers anticipated the CPS "no action" decision and saved themselves a lot of trouble.
I presume that the DPP, Keir Starmer, is a decent sort of a chap and confronted with evidence of what was happening under his leadership, he decided to demonstrate some. (I'm not suggesting that what went on from the establishment of the CPS was anything to do with him: the organisation never got to grips with traffic from the start.)
The fly in the ointment here is that the CPS can only act on the cases referred to them (although it's a positive step that they have declared they will be proactive in seeking more information and evidence from the police.) Police resources dedicated to the enforcement of road traffic legislation - both in the form of specialist traffic officers and the time spent by uniform patrol officers more generally - have been reduced and that trend will continue. (Although in some serious cases, the involvement of experienced detectives should ensure that evidence if of a good standard.) In terms of video evidence, when that's obtained from equipment in a police car, it must strengthen the police case immeasurably. OTOH, I suspect that in many cases, amateur cameramen will continue to be fobbed.
I know there are all sorts of cases where people will point to this and that going wrong - all I'm saying is that the leadership of the CPS is now sending out a better message in this context.