Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey: careless WA drivers could soon face jail time

Drivers who cause serious injury or death due to careless driving via distraction face stiffer penalties. Photo: Jessica Hromas
Drivers who cause serious injury or death due to careless driving via distraction face stiffer penalties. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Drivers who seriously injure or kill someone due to carelessness could soon be sent to prison.

The state government's new legislation proposes careless drivers be handed a fine, licence suspension or jail time.

Examples of careless driving includes changing the radio, applying make-up, rummaging around in a bag and drinking coffee.

Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said there were currently very serious penalties for reckless driving and dangerous driving but careless drivers only faced $600 fines.

"People become complacent when they are driving and driving is a very serious activity," Ms Harvey said.

"Driving leading to death and serious injury needs a higher penalty and that's what we are going to impose."

The length of prison term or how much the fine would be is yet to be decided.

The new legislation is being proposed after a coroner's report in 2011 suggested the state government look at increasing careless driving penalties.

Ms Harvey said she was hoping to table the legislation in parliament by the end of the year.

This story Careless WA drivers could soon face jail time first appeared on WA Today.