The Ministry of Justice has warned that as from Monday (August 18th) careless drivers who kill face five years in prison.
Newly-created offences will, for the first time, let courts imprison drivers who cause deaths by not paying due care to the road, or to other road users.
The laws are designed to end the days of drivers who kill walking away from court with just a fine.
Judges will now consider whether an avoidable distraction has caused a death on the road. Avoidable distractions will include using a mobile phone (while calling or texting), drinking and eating, applying make-up or anything else which unnecessarily takes a driver’s attention away from the road.
New legislation will also penalise uninsured, disqualified or unlicensed drivers who kill.
The new offences will carry custodial sentences of up to five years for causing death by careless driving and up to two years for causing death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured.
Previously, the maximum sentence for those convicted of causing death by careless, uninsured or unlicensed driving was a £5,000 fine and penalty licence points.