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20-08-2008 MAG welcomes new laws to punish those who cause deaths by their careless driving.

MAG welcomes new laws to punish those who cause deaths by their careless driving.

Motorists who drive without paying due attention will face prison under new driving legislation which came into force on Monday the 18th of August.

Drivers who cause deaths due to avoidable distractions such as using a mobile phone or applying make up will face new penalties, including up to five years for causing death by careless driving, and up to two years for driving whilst uninsured, unlicensed or disqualified. Prior to the introduction of the new laws, the maximum sentence for those convicted of death through careless driving was a £5,000 fine and licence points.

Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and the risks they face are compounded by motorist's inattention to their driving whilst they are distracted by other things going on in the protective cocoon of their car.

MAG Campaigns Manager, David Short, says, " Motorcyclists have to put up with dodging cigarette ends, litter and empty drinks cans being thrown out of cars which is in itself down right irresponsible but when that compromises the safety of motorcyclists it is unforgiveable.

The nature of motorcycling means that you don't have the same distractions as in a car and so you are more attentive and therefore safer. In a car it is too easy to use the mobile phone, mess about with make up, consume food and drink or simply meddle music sytems.

All of these distractions take up concentration which should be focused on driving. Its about time motorists faced up to their responsibilities towards other road users and this new law should make examples of those who don't and in turn reinforce the importance of road safety".

NOTES TO EDITORS
1. David Short can be contacted on 07738 948080
2. The new offences are among a range of provisions introduced as part of the 2006 Road Safety Act, which was designed to improve safety on Britain's roads and ensure that drivers who break the rules are brought to justice. It also includes measures to crack down on motorists who break the law by driving without insurance, or using a vehicle that is unroadworthy, and will also make it more difficult for foreign drivers to escape penalties for driving offences committed in the UK.
3. Find Sentencing Guidelines Council Causing Death By Driving guidance for courts here:
www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/causing_death_by_driving_definitive_guideline.pdf

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