Instead, 34-year-old Brenna-Jane Waller has lost her licence for three years.
On a sunny day in December 2006, Waller failed to see a red light at an intersection on the South Gippsland Highway at Cranbourne South, and crashed into a car driven by Robert Love.
Mr Love died at the scene and his wife and daughter were seriously injured.
The Victorian County Court heard this morning that the road's condition was good, the weather was fine and speed, alcohol and fatigue were not factors in the crash.
Waller was found guilty by a jury of one count of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury.
The jury acquitted her of the more serious charge of culpable driving, as well as two counts of negligent driving causing serious injury.
Judge James Montgomery said Mr Love had entered the intersection of the Highway and Lesden Avenue at 20km/h when Waller drove through at 80km/h with her two children in the back seat.
The court heard during the trial that the intersection lights changed from green to red 100 metres from the crash's impact point, giving Waller four seconds to realise the change, Judge Montgomery said.
"Your failure to see the (family's) vehicle and (changed) light was a serious breach of the duty of care owed by another road user that had catastrophic consequences," the judge told Waller.
But Waller's bipolar disorder and depression would make a prison term more onerous on her than a member of the community in full health, the judge said.
"No good will come from you serving an immediate custodial sentence," he said.
Judge Montgomery suspended Waller's two-year jail term. She will be unable to apply for a licence for three years.