• Sep 10, 2007

The current fine for using a mobile phone while driving in the UK is £60 and three points on your license. If you are caught driving unsafely while using a mobile phone or typing directions in the navi, the fine jumps to £2,500. Now, after a review by the Crown Prosecution Service which looked at types of bad driving and penalties, a new charge of "dangerous driving" has been added. That charge would require the driver to be doing something likely to kill or seriously endanger somebody, while fiddling with a device like a phone or MP3 player. If that was found, then the driver could spend two years in jail.

The finding of dangerous driving will be up to the prosecutor to prove and a jury to issue. However, it gives the courts a step between a fine and a 14-year sentence, which is the punishment for the more serious offense of death by dangerous driving. Its value as a deterrent is, of course, being debated. Some say the risk of 2 years in the pokey might finally get people to pay attention behind the wheel. Others say that enforcement of the current laws is so lax that people won't likely pay attention to this one. Any way you care to look at it, though, the UK is the last place you want to be swapping photos and trying to find the right playlist at the wheel.

[Source: This is London]



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  • 16 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Funny, if this guy was driving in the UK he is sitting on the wrong side of the the car; they have made a habbit of that affliction....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Darn it Paul, your comment is identical to the one I was going to make. A lot of thought went into the selection of this post's photo, don't you think?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm all for banning it, but 2 years in jail is absolutely ridiculous. Is everyone going crazy?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the best way to deal with these people is to AGGRESIVLY give out fines of 200-300 dollars and maybe remove a point from license. This will for sure increase insurance premiums.

      If however jail will be the punishment, it may become one of those laws that are not seriously enforced. Like getting a prostitute, or smoking weed. Plus the courts will have to take the load.

      Big fines however are a great deterrent so are increasing insurance premiums, the only bad part in here is that it is difficult to catch these people. Police has trouble catching people who talk and drive, let alone text and drive.

      • 7 Years Ago
      "Some say the risk of 2 years in the pokey might finally get people to pay attention behind the wheel."

      Sorry, but that is such a medival way of thinking, and I see the UK heading in that direction with all their rediculous punishments associated with their laws. 2 years in jail for sending a text message? I'm completely against using the phone in anyway in the car while driving, but getting 2 years in jail is what you deserve if you commit a crime, why ruin someone's life because they sent an sms!?! A high fine and stricter policing is whats required, this proposal of jailing people is like cutting someones hand off for stealing, it won't lower the number of deaths caused by phone usage in cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should just outlaw driving already and get it over with. Not that I disagree with the law, but it's just another law, in a long line of laws that is just ridiculous. For two reasons, one, 2 years? What if I pick up the phone to stop it from ringing or I'm just holding it and the 5-0 sees me? Jail time for that? Two, it's just sad people can't figure this out themselves.

      I admit it, I've texted in traffic...when it was stopped. Is that a jailable offense too? I'm competent enough to drive on the highway, but every day I see a dozen drivers who aren't. Either by stupidity, or general arrogance. Which says to me that people in general are crummy drivers, maybe instead of making 30 new laws on "you cant do X" while driving we should go back to the drawing board and teach people how to drive? Raise the age to 18, and do testing every two years after 65?

        • 7 Years Ago
        Raise the age to 18??? Why? Then when kids are going to college they have no driving experience? Here's an idea. Start promoting more teen driving while they have their permits. Let them get used to the road and be taught not to drive with any other distractions. People like you just think that anyone under 18 shouldn't be able to do anything. Let kids be kids but keep them safe by parents taking responsibility for their kids and stop relying on the government to babysit for them. It's call personal responsibility.
      • 7 Years Ago
      they need to outlaw texting, in addition to a whole bunch of other things while driving: talking with your hands, arguing with your spouse, eating corn dogs, applying makeup, fussing with your ipod, admiring yourself in the mirror, checking out jailbait walking on the sidewalk and scratching yourself while your foot is on the accelerator.

      just sit down, shut up and drive. nothing more!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Texting while driving (or doing anything that takes significant attention away from the task of driving, for that matter) is stupid, but this law is equally stupid.

      Wake up people: paying attention to driving is IMPLIED. We don't need taxes thrown into the trash bin for this sort of vote-peddling bureaucracy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow... almost as bad as that time I saw that girl take her hands and eyes off the wheel and road to check her phone. In the middle of a corner.

      Good law, but a bit too harsh. Maybe 2 months without a license, but definitely not 2 years.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Makes me glad I live in the U.S. Are liberals haven't managed to implement such ridiculous laws here - yet. The fact is ANYTHING can be distracting, an not everyone can drive. We like to blame objects and be the victim, but sometimes "S" just happens.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So is it illegal to tune the radio on the center console while driving, and how the hell could they enforce this, the police car would literally have to be driving beside you to see that your texting
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hard to enforce, but worth the effort.
      Drivers should drive, not fiddle with their damn phones.

      Driving is no time for "multitasking" which I define as doing several things poorly instead of one thing well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't text and drive, its the number 1 killer in auto accidents.
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