Motorists who kill because they were using a mobile phone, termed as being ‘avoidably distracted', can now receive a jail term of up to five years. The term also caters for other activities such as altering a GPS, eating or drinking, reading a map or applying make-up during driving. The Ministry of Justice expects around 150 motorists per year to be jailed under the provision.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman told Sky News: 'In cases where death occurs there will always be an expectation that a severe sentence will result. However, where there is a low level of fault and significant mitigating factors, a community sentence may be more appropriate. Of course where the facts of the case indicate a custodial sentence is appropriate, the courts will act accordingly.'
The new law came into force yesterday and will be accompanied by an associated law that will prosecute those ‘killer drivers' who commit an offence while uninsured, disqualified or unlicensed. The latter can trigger a two-year jail sentence.
Read the Sky News story