Drivers who kill while using their phone could get life in jail

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Those who kill while using a mobile phone behind the wheel could spend their life in jail under new government proposals.

The crackdown will see the punishment for killing someone while driving and holding a phone brought into line with manslaughter.

Ministers want to make 'text-driving' as socially unacceptable as drink-driving and these new measures are at the forefront of this campaign.

The hard-line stance also extends to those who cause death due to speeding or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous or careless driving will rise from 14 years.

The proposals are being put forward for consultation today by justice minister Sam Gyimah, who also wants to introduce an offence for causing serious injury by careless driving. This would include those caused by drivers not checking their mirrors or being distracted by the car radio.

Gyimah said: "Killer drivers ruin lives. Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses.

"While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime. My message is clear – if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence."

The punishment for being caught using a phone while driving is set to increase from three to six points, while the fine is also doubling to £200.

This means motorists would have their licence revoked after just two offences, while those who've held a licence for less than two years would lose it immediately.