In plans to be put forward by the Ministry of Justice, those who cause death by dangerous driving could be handed life sentences.
New sentences proposed
Offenders who cause death whilst using a mobile phone, street racing or speeding will be handed the same sentence as those charged with manslaughter.
Furthermore, careless drivers who kill – those under the influence of drink or drugs – may also be faced with a life sentence. Currently the sentence for such an offence is limited to a 14 year prison sentence.
Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said:
“Killer drivers ruin lives. Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses. While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime.”
Ministry of Justice
A consultation by the Ministry of Justice will ask for views on whether the current maximum sentences should be increased.
The proposed move would see the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous or careless driving increase from 14 years to life. There would also be a new offence for causing serious injury by careless driving, with a maximum sentence of three years. The current minimum driving ban for those who are convicted of causing death by dangerous/careless driving is also set to be increased.
The department say the consultation ‘delivers on the government’s pledge to consider the sentencing powers available to the courts for the most serious driving offences’. This comes after a total of 122 people were convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in 2015 and a further 21 sentenced for causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence.
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