Texting and driving could land you in jail
18th Aug 2008 | 15:54
New careless driving laws get hard on mobile phone users
New driving laws come into force today that effectively ban you from doing anything that causes distraction when you are driving your car.
The 'Causing Death By Careless Driving' law, which prohibits things like map-reading, eating and tuning the car radio, will now carry a jail sentence if a driver kills through "avoidable distraction".
Originally, the law carried a maximum of a £5,000 fine, but this has been upped to five years in jail for the offence.
Texting could land you 14 years
It's worse news for mobile phone users, as things like text messaging and answering the phone while driving will now come under the offence of "gross distraction", which means that if a driver kills while using their phone, they could find themselves locked up from anywhere between two and 14 years.
Justice Minister Maria Eagle spoke about the new tightening of the law and said: "Drivers who kill through carelessness will no longer be able to walk away from court with just a fine.
"A moment's distraction can make the difference between life and death."