Killer drivers still getting off lightly say campaigners | Motoring Issues - Car News Jun 2018


16:04 Monday 18 Jun 2018

Months since the Government pledged tougher penalties for killer drivers, road safety campaigners say families of crash victims are still being let down as sentences are yet to reflect the changes.

It was in October last year that the Government announced tougher sentences for drivers who kill and seriously injure, with life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving or cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, and the creation of a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. However, eight months on from the announcement, the Justice Minister has been unable to say when these tougher sentences would be implemented despite repeated questioning in parliament.

Road safety charity Brake says this delay is causing additional distress to the families of road crash victims, citing the sentencing last month of a driver who pleaded guilty to mowing down a pensioner on a pedestrian crossing in Hammersmith while travelling at double the speed limit and having run a red light. The driver was sentenced to just six years and four months for causing the death of 81-year-old Derek Raynor by dangerous driving, with Judge Nicholas Cooke QC commenting, “If I had unfettered discretion, you may be facing rather longer in custody.”

In response to the sentence, Brake’s Director of Campaigns Joshua Harris said, “It is completely unacceptable that these new tougher sentences have not yet been implemented. There is absolutely no reason why it should take so long to deliver the justice that families, like Derek Raynor’s, deserve. Drivers who kill or seriously injure all too often receive lenient sentences. By delaying the introduction of new tougher sentences, the Government is causing further suffering to families who have lost loved ones in road crashes.”


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