PLANS TO hit killer drivers with tougher jail sentences have been drawn up by the government, as it seeks to tackle the rapidly rising problem of distraction caused by smartphones.
Under the proposals, life sentences would be handed out to motorists who cause a death while using a mobile phone, as well as to speeders or anyone under the influence of drink or drugs.
Sam Gyimah, the justice minister, told The Sunday Times that the maximum sentence should be increased from the current limit of 14 years to a life term. In 2015, the average sentence for drivers who killed was less than four years.
The RAC has warned that the use of smartphones when driving is an “epidemic”.
Gyimah told The Sunday Times that killer drivers ruin lives. “Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses. While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime. My message is clear — if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.”
Brake, the road safety charity, described the news as a vindication of its efforts to bring about tougher penalties for drivers who ignore the rules of the road.
The proposals, which will be launched as a consultation, also include increasing the minimum driving ban for drivers convicted of causing death.