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Stronger penalties for texting drivers?

Drivers convicted of causing death by dangerous driving should be given stronger and more consistent penalties, according to road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

An IAM analysis of eleven recent prosecutions involving mobile and smartphone use revealed that the average sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is four-and-a-half years in prison and a disqualification from driving for seven years. In all of the cases analysed, the convicted drivers were found to have lost their concentration due to using their mobile phone.

According to the IAM, this loss of concentration caused:

  • Six incidents where vehicles ran into the back of a stationary or slow moving queue of traffic or a broken down vehicle;
  • Three incidents where vehicles drifted across the road and hit another vehicle head-on; and
  • Two incidents leading to the death of a pedestrian.

The road safety charity has pointed out that the maximum sentence available for causing death by dangerous driving is fourteen years and, according to IAM chief executive Simon Best, this leaves plenty of scope for an even stronger road safety message to be sent.

It is absolutely essential to obtain quality legal advice as quickly as possible when faced with prosecution for a road traffic offence, especially one so serious as causing death by dangerous driving.

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