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Jail for mobile phone drivers who kill

Published: 18 August 2008

Updated: 19 November 2014

Drivers who kill while using a mobile phone face jail under new careless driving laws from today.

The laws allow prison sentences for drivers who kill while preoccupied with ‘avoidable distractions’ such as mobile phones, eating or drinking or applying make-up.

They are designed to close a gap in legislation which has allowed drivers who kill to walk free with a fine.

The new laws also include prison sentence of up to five years for causing death by careless driving and up to two years for causing death while uninsured, unlicensed or disqualified. Previously the maximum penalty in such cases was a £5,000 fine plus penalty points.

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: “Drivers who kill through carelessness will no longer be able to walk away from court with just a fine. Neither should uninsured or unlicensed drivers who deliberately flout the law.

“Driving requires full concentration at all times.  A moment’s distraction can make the difference between life and death.”

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