Killer drivers face life in jail | Motoring Issues - Car News Oct 2017

MOTORING ISSUES

13:13 Monday 16 Oct 2017

Tough new penalties announced by the Ministry of Justice, including life sentences for some killer drivers, have been welcomed by road safety campaign groups.

Under the new plans announced at the weekend, drivers who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs could be caged for life.  Currently, causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum jail term of 14 years.  In addition, the maximum sentences for causing death by speeding, racing or using a mobile phone will be increased, while a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.

The announcement comes at the end of a consultation launched by the Government last December, which found strong support for tougher penalties.

Jason Wakeford, campaign director at road safety charity Brake, hailed the announcement as “a major victory for the families of victims and charities, including Brake, who have tirelessly campaigned for punishments which better fit road crimes that kill and seriously injure people.”

"We applaud the Government for at last recognising that the statute books have been weighed against thousands of families who have had their lives torn apart through the actions of drivers who have flagrantly broken the law”, said Mr Wakeford.

However, he went on to sound a note of caution, saying, “In addition to tougher penalties, Government must also make road policing a national priority, reversing savage cuts to front line resources so that laws are properly enforced in the first place.”

The cautious optimism at the news was shared by Neil Greig, director of policy and research at fellow road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.

“The public has been calling for stricter penalties for those who cause death by driving recklessly, and the moves today by the Government are wholeheartedly welcomed.  However we feel that visible policing, and a high likelihood of being caught, is the surest way of making people drive better.  If people don’t think they will be caught, they simply won’t drive in a safer way.  It is also vital that courts reflect society’s view on the impact of dangerous driving and use the maximum available sentences – something they have so far not demonstrated on a consistent basis.”

 

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