UK Texting Drivers Who Kill Face 7 Years In Prison

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

OK, we get it. If you're texting your BFF up to seven years. In other words, it's a maximum– not a minimum– sentence. And why pick on texting? Doesn't The Land of Hope and Glory have a general charge of "causing death by dangerous driving," or some such thing? Not yet, they don't. "Ministers now want to see the two new offences – causing death by careless driving and causing death while unlicenced, disqualified or uninsured – pushed through as soon as possible." Again, what's with a separate anti-texting caveat? "The council said it wanted to send a ‘clear message’ to those who text while driving that it will not be tolerated." Uh, OK. But I'm little concerned about the Council throwing the book at killer drivers with a history of "bad driving." "Very serious cases, where drugs, alcohol or persistent bad driving are involved, could warrant a jail term of up to 14 years, the [Sentencing Guidelines] council said." ?4U. Is it prima facie if you accidentally kill someone but have a bad driving record?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jul 16, 2008


    Why should your liability decrease because the victim was himself in violation of the law? Because there's an obvious difference between running someone down because you weren't paying attention, and running someone down because they stepped out from behind a parked truck. I'll agree that drivers need to be attentive, but there's a reasonable expectation. You may as well say you're liable in a car/car accident because someone ran a red and struck you. Why is it not part of your responsibility of owning a car to make sure it is in good repair at all times? I'll grant you this point because I wasn't clear, but my original line of reasoning here was that you can't really be held responsible if your car fails due to an unforeseen defect. If you were driving an unsafe vehicle to start with, that's different and covered by existing laws. The difference between the position Mr. Farago is condemning and mine is this: * What the council is doing is a duplication of existing legislation. It's akin to having a law for Fraud and Fraud Committed with a Computer. It's a legislative redundancy. * Mine is dealing with the concept of extenuating circumstances, which isn't a legislative action at all, but judicial one. It is the function of a court to interpret circumstances and how they relate to the law. It's bloody stupid for a government body to muddy the legal waters for what amounts to an advertising campaign.
  • Frantz Frantz on Jul 16, 2008

    It wont save any lives. Kids will still txt.. they will just go to jail in the unlikely event that someone dies. Its a reactive law.. preventive would be making it illegal to txt while driving.. but then we should make music illegal to have while driving (wasn't that a major concern in the 1930s)

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jul 16, 2008
    "Ministers now want to see the two new offences – causing death by careless driving and causing death while unlicenced, disqualified or uninsured – pushed through as soon as possible." Something that hasn't been commented on, is the other law where driving unlicensed or disqualified (revoked license, I assume) is equated with driving uninsured. Since when did having insurance make you a better driver? What is the proximate cause between being uninsured and running somebody down due to your own negligence. I drove a car for 1 1/2 years without insurance and was probably a better driver for it, because I couldn't afford to get in an accident or get pulled over. Not having insurance doesn't make you a bad driver. Maybe irresponsible, but not a bad driver. Generally speaking, people who can't get a license or have their license revoked are very bad drivers.
  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jul 17, 2008

    history/propensity to commit the crime are not admissible for the purposes of determining guilt but they are admissible for sentencing considerations