- Sep 10, 2007
Texting while driving in the UK could get you 2 years in jail
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]