Motorists who cause death by dangerous driving could soon be handed a life sentence as a part of tough new plans from the Ministry of Justice to clamp down on irresponsible drivers.
Careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs can also face life behind bars.
Additionally, a new offence – causing serious injury through careless driving – could be created in a bid to make Britain’s roads safer and prevent the devastation caused by reckless motorists.
Previously, drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone could only receive sentences equivalent to manslaughter and a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.
These measures have been proposed in response to government consultation and following pressure from a wide range of people including victims, bereaved families and road safety experts.
More than 9,000 responses were submitted during a three-month consultation, with over 1,000 of those replies coming in the first three days of its launch.
Justice minister Dominic Raab said: “Based on the seriousness of the worst cases, the anguish of the victims’ families, and maximum penalties for other serious offences, such as manslaughter, we intend to introduce life sentences of imprisonment for those who wreck lives by driving dangerously, drunk or high on drugs.”
Mr Raab added that introducing jail time for causing serious injury by careless driving would “fill a gap in the law and reflect the seriousness of some of the injuries suffered by victims in this category of case”.
In 2016, 157 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, up from 122 people the year before. A further 32 were convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence, more than 50 per cent more than the 21 seen in 2015.
Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Dangerous driving has caused heartache and devastation amongst hundreds of British families.
“Whilst these tougher sentences should send out a stern warning, we would hope to see a more widespread campaign appealing to drivers those who don’t pay enough attention to the road.”
Posted on 16th October 2017
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