Tough sentences for driving and dialling from Monday

In February 2007, a new act was brought in to penalise the increasing number of drivers using their mobile phones whilst moving.

Just 12 months on, and a report from YouGov and headset manufacturer Plantronics revealed that Brits were still dialling and driving.

In fact, the report found that over 40% of those who use mobile phones whilst driving were doing so illegally without a handsfree device.

But now the Ministry of Justice has announced a further crackdown.

From Monday, there will be new measures in place for what constitutes the offence called Causing Death by Careless Driving.

Sky News reports that new measures will come into play toughening the penalties for motorists who kill because they were "avoidably distracted".

Distractions include being on the phone, texting, drinking and eating, adjusting a GPS or car stereo, applying make-up or reading a map.

The Ministry of Justice even lists smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry as possible driving distractions.

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: "Drivers who kill through carelessness will no longer be able to walk away from court with just a fine. Driving requires full concentration at all times. A moment's distraction can make the difference between life and death".

Previously, the maximum punishment was a £5000 fine and points on the driving licence, but now you could get a prison sentence of up to 5 years.


>