The traffic lights were green. No reason to stop the car. She was driving within the speed limit as she began to cross the junction. Just at that moment she looked down to her mobile phone to read a text message. And just at that same moment a teenage cyclist rode across her path. She hit him and he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
The driver has been jailed for 4 years for causing death by driving without due care and attention whilst using a mobile phone.
Now let’s look at the facts.
1. Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an offence under UK law, and attracts a fixed penalty fine of £60
2. It is recommended that cyclists wear helmets. This cyclist did not.
3. The cyclist jumped a red traffic light.
So this is my question. Should the motorist have received a jail sentence, or would the standard £60 fine have been more appropriate? After all, the cyclist should not have ignored the red light and ridden in front of her, and in any case, had he been wearing a helmet it is quite possible he would have survived. Surely the only crime committed by the driver was to use a phone whilst driving.
This actually happened a few days ago and has led to an enormous amount of debate and media comment. What's your opinion? It's over to you!