Government driving law tweaks add custodial sentences

The Government is tweaking driving laws. If you're found to have caused a crash while using a mobile phone you could be jailed for up to five years. That's the message from the Government's new offence of causing death by careless driving. At the moment, drivers can escape with a fine up to a maximum of 2,500.

The Home Office has also proposed an offence of death resulting from driving while disqualified or unlicensed, with a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

Also, a consultation paper says that less serious motoring offences such as driving while disqualified should attract community punishments, not jail. It reckons that electronic tagging or community work could be more effective than prison.

While the proposals were welcomed by campaign groups, the Conservatives said that those who killed while using a mobile should be charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said it supported the moves.