IAM wants stronger penalties for drivers using mobile phones

12.00 | 18 September 2013 | | 3 comments

Drivers convicted of causing death by dangerous driving while using a mobile phone should be given stronger and more consistent penalties, according to the IAM.

The IAM has analysed 11 recent prosecutions involving mobile and smartphone use and says that the average sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is four-and-a-half years in prison and a disqualification from driving for seven years.

The IAM says that in all of the cases analysed, the convicted drivers were found to have lost their concentration due to using their mobile phone.

It also points out that while the “vast majority” of the public agree that that using a mobile phone while driving is unsafe, 750,000 fixed penalties have been issued to drivers for this offences since 2006.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “The maximum sentence available to the courts is 14 years, so there is scope for an even stronger road safety message that drivers who kill while distracted on their phones will be caught and jailed for a long time.

“The lesson here is obvious: never use your phone while driving. Whether you have a hands free kit or use loudspeaker, it doesn’t matter. Using your phone in any capacity reduces your attention from the task at hand – driving.”

Contact the IAM for more information.


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    Whilst the “perfection” of not using a hands free is good, it distracts from the much bigger issue of hand held use. (Also the radio and passengers talking can be distracting). The real issues (as viewed by the law) need more enforcement and more education – both of which are lacking.

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    We are losing that battle, the one to fight now is to stop Google & email coming to your dashboard as you career along on a crowded motorway. Legislate against the manufacturers.

    Olly, Lancs
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    You can’t punish safety into a system. You could fine wrong-doers millions and lock them up for a thousand years, but that will not make the traffic system any safer simply because all the other people in it firmly believe that such a thing could never happen to them in the first place.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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