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Dangerous Drivers Could Face Life Sentences

By Principal Lawyer, Serious Injury

Motorists who cause death by dangerous driving could face a life sentence under new Government proposals.

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Ministers said dangerous drivers who cause death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone could face the same sentences as people charged with manslaughter. Offenders convicted while under the influence of drink or drugs could also be given life sentences.

We welcome the proposals and hope the Government introduces the reforms as soon as possible.

Earlier in the year, a poll commissioned by charity, Brake, revealed that 66 per cent of people believe drivers who kill as should be jailed for a minimum of 10 years.

The maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving is currently 14 years – but we rarely see longest jail terms imposed for motoring offences. The proposed reforms are long overdue. Judges need to be given the power to hand down sentences that fit the crime.

The existing sentencing guidelines allow maximum sentences that are not tough enough in some cases. Many bereaved families do not feel justice is done.  

In 2013, more than 1,700 people died on UK roads. This figure has since dropped in recent years, but remains an unacceptable number when, with stricter laws, more lives might be saved from deaths caused by careless driving.

The Government’s pledge to consult on increasing jail terms follows the campaign of the parents of the victim of a tragic road traffic accident.

We welcome the proposals and hope the Government introduces the reforms as soon as possible.

In April, 2016, Ian and Dawn Brown-Latey took their ‘Justice For Joseph’ campaign to Downing Street as they fought for tougher sentences on dangerous drivers following the death of their son, Joseph, 25, in 2014.

He was killed instantly when Addil Haroon’s speeding car crashed into his vehicle at 80 miles per hour on a 30 miles per hour road in Rochdale in 2014.

Harroon, 19, had no licence or insurance and was thought to be racing at the time of the collision. He was given six years in jail.

A petition signed by more than 20,000 people and backed by MPs and charities was handed in to Downing Street.

Joseph’s parents told the Manchester Evening News they were “absolutely delighted” the Government had finally responded to pleas of many families who suffered similar tragedy had but felt “let down” by the punishment handed out by the justice system.

 

Slater and Gordon Lawyers supports Cycling UK’s ‘Roads Justice’ campaign which, among other important objectives, aims to see the introduction of tougher sentences to act as a stronger deterrent.

Jennifer Maloney is a senior associate, specialising in serious injury claims at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.

For more information, please refer to our previous case studies, including: £9.75m for Taxi Passenger After Collision Leaves Him Paralysed

The specialist personal injury lawyers at Slater and Gordon are experts in helping people with road traffic accident compensation claims and guiding them to brighter outcomes.

For a free consultation, call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

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