Killer drivers to face life in prison

Killer drivers to face life in prison”

New legislation that could put drivers behind bars for life for causing death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone has been announced by the Government. The offences now carry a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) agreed that there was a need for creating a new offence, but disagreed with raising the maximum penalties for the existing offences, and expressed disappointment that the consultation did not look at non-custodial measures to deal with risky driving.

Justice minister Dominic Raab, pictured, said: "We've taken a long hard look at driving sentences, and we received 9,000 submissions to our consultation".

Drivers causing death by unsafe driving, speeding or using a mobile phone behind the wheel could now face sentences equivalent to manslaughter, with the maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life, the Ministry of Justice confirmed.

Motorists who kill victims while using mobile phones, drink-driving or speeding could be jailed for life under new laws.

Responding to the announcement, Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Today's announcement is a major victory for the families of victims and charities, including Brake, who have tirelessly campaigned for punishments which better fit road crimes that kill and seriously injure people".

Thousands of people backed tougher penalties for the most serious road offences in a public consultation after the plans were announced in December previous year - and the move has been fully backed by Huddersfield road safety charity Brake.

In 2016, 157 people were sentenced for causing death by risky driving and 32 were convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence, the MoJ said.

In a statement announcing the changes, the Ministry of Justice said that the review was "part of government action to make roads safer for all and stop devastation caused by risky drivers and cyclists".

He said the new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will "fill a gap in the law" to reflect the severity of some of the injuries.

The government called for a review into causing death by cycling after the widely-publicised Charlie Alliston case.

Sentencing will remain a matter for independent judges with decisions based on the full facts of each case.

Those who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face the new penalty.

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