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Petition Calls for New Offence for Causing Serious Injury by Careless Driving

By Principal Lawyer, Personal Injury - Serious Injuries

The family of a teenager who was left with serious brain damage when she was run down by a car which drove through a red light, are calling for a new law to clamp down on careless drivers.

More than 2,000 people have already signed the family’s online petition calling for the creation of a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.

18 year-old Miriam Parker suffered a serious brain injury when she was struck whilst crossing a road in Croydon, South London on New Years Day. The driver was convicted by magistrates of driving without due care and attention.

Like many people who suffer a serious brain injury, Miriam’s rehabilitation has been protracted and she has had to relearn a number of basic functions, including walking, talking and eating. The effects of brain injury are profound and very often permanent and life-changing.

Miriam, who had planned to attend university to study nursing, spent four weeks in intensive care at St George’s Hospital in Tooting where she underwent five operations, followed by several months in a rehabilitation centre. She now lives at home with her mother and still has some paralysis in her left hand.

But what of the driver? He was convicted of driving without due care and attention, fined £1,400 and disqualified from driving for four years. He will also be required to pass an advanced driving test in order to regain his licence. Magistrates were unable to impose a custodial sentence.

Miriam’s family, who are said to be disappointed with the apparent leniency of the sentence, hope that the creation of a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, will bridge the gap between the offences of driving without due care and attention (where a disqualification is discretionary) and causing death by dangerous driving (where a maximum five year custodial sentence can be handed down).

Miriam’s sisters, Kirsty & Loren are petitioning the Prime Minister using an online petition; for complete details please click here.

According to statistics from the Department for Transport more than 5,000 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in car accidents on Britain’s roads last year, down from nearly 6,000 in 2012.

Andrew Zajac is a Serious Injury Solicitor specialising in Brain Injury claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Cambridge.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people injured in accidents through no fault of their own. Call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.

Slater and Gordon are a leading personal injury law firm with more than 1,400 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Derby, Wakefield, Halifax & meeting rooms in Hull & in Bramhall, Cheshire.