Tougher sentences called for on death from driving

Brake and Direct Line are calling for tougher sentences and penalties for drivers who cause death and injury.

The government is being called on to make sentences tougher for drivers whose actions result in death or injury from dangerous driving.

Road safety charity Brake has been campaigning for this change in the law and, alongside insurance company Direct Line, has found that this has received high levels of support from the general public.

In their joint report on safe driving, it was found that 82 per cent of respondents thought that drivers who kill people should receive higher sentences. Meanwhile 81 per cent of respondents say that drivers who either injure or kill someone while behind the wheel without being considered to take any illegal risk in the eyes of the law should be classed as dangerous rather than careless.

The penalty for careless driving is three points on a driver's license and a £100 fine. However, the most serious cases, such as where serious injury or death occurs, go to court and offenders could receive higher penalties.

For dangerous driving the maximum penalty is two years, an unlimited fine, a driving ban with a compulsory re-test and between three and 11 penalty points. Where death by dangerous driving is caused, however, the prison sentence can be up to 14 years. These offenders, too, may receive an unlimited fine and between three and 11 points on their licence, while they have a driving ban of at least two years and must take a re-test after this time if they wish to drive again.

Deputy chief executive at Brake Julie Townsend said: "We want the government to acknowledge how inadequate current charges and penalties are and take action to prevent traumatised families suffering further insult. Denying justice to victim families often has a terrible impact on their ability to rebuild and move forward with their lives.

"Our justice system should make clear that risky, illegal behaviour on roads is no accident: it's selfish, destructive, and unacceptable."

Whether or not the sentences should be increased in this instance is currently being considered by the Ministry of Justice.

  • On: 20 March 2014
  • By: CarShop

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