Bloggers mixed on jail time for phoning while driving

Cyberscribes have strong and opposing reactions to news that British drivers caught using mobile phones or other devices could be put in jail for two years.

We know better, but we all do it anyway. We're negotiating traffic, the cell phone rings and it's that call we've been waiting for...the one that has to be answered. We take it, knowing full well we're putting ourselves, our passengers and others on the road at risk.

mobilewhile driving

In Britain, that offense might just land you in jail for two years, according to an article on the Evening Standard's Web site. The story, which has bloggers typing away, says penalties for "dangerous driving" are being stiffened because of widespread public concern about the perils of using phones and other handheld devices while driving. "Those who kill while using a mobile phone will face 14 years behind bars under the charge of causing death by dangerous driving," the story adds.

For some, such penalties--which appear far steeper than those in related U.S. laws --are long overdue. Others, however, say they are unreasonable and unnecessary.

Blog community response:

"All men have secrets and here is mine, so let it be known: People who gab on cell phones while driving make me want to kill...Instead, I'll just take consolation from the U.K., where lawmakers have passed legislation punishing cell phone drivers with two years in jail."
--SLOG

"As I understand it it is already an offence to drive without 'due care and attention.' This is an unnecessary law. Having children in the car can be far more of a distraction than talking on a cell phone."
--Brett Wright on This is London message board

"I have to wonder at those who applaud such draconian laws. How will they feel when sometime they are distracted by something on their car's console, run a red light and a cop, or even a CCTV camera, sees them do it? When the judge slams his gavel down on them with 'Two years for dangerous driving! Next!' how are they going respond?...Bottom line is, the UK is a police state and such laws are just par for the course in such a neofeudal system."
--Aftermath News

"Good! It makes my blood boil that, up to now, this utterly incomprehensible stupidity and disregard for others has been so leniently penalised."
--A reader named Emma, on Daily Mail comment board

About the author

Michelle Meyers, associate editor, has been writing and editing CNET News stories since 2005. But she's still working to shed some of her old newspaper ways, first honed when copy was actually cut and pasted. When she's not fixing typos and tightening sentences, she's working with reporters on story ideas, tracking media happenings, or freshening up CNET News' home page.

 

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