Government to Set Tougher Penalties for Dangerous Driving Offences
The new penalties soon to be enforced by the Government will mean that drivers could be jailed for a minimum of up to five years.
The new offence is set to bridge the gap between the offence causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a 14-year prison sentence, whilst other dangerous driving offences carry penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment.
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has said that a new offence of “causing serious injury by dangerous driving” will be introduced that will more than double the current maximum sentence for those behaving recklessly on the roads.
Mr Clarke said: “We have listened to the victims of dangerous drivers, their families, MPs, judges and road safety groups and their experiences have directly informed these changes.
“Making our roads safer is a priority – five people died on our roads each day last year, so we need to do everything we can to further improve safety.”
The move has been greeted by a number road safety organizations, including road safety charity Brake and one of the UK’s leading personal injury solicitors, PHC Law Ltd.
Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officers said: “The new offence finally means that serious injury is recognized within the title of the offence, and this recognition is vitally important to victims and their families.
‘It also means that dangerous drivers who inflict serious injuries can expect to see higher sentences to better reflect the terrible trauma and injuries they have caused.’
RoSPA also welcomed the news. Head of road safety Kevin Clinton commented: ‘RoSPA has previously called for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving to be extended to cover causing serious injury, so we welcome the announcement of a new offence of “causing serious injury by dangerous driving”.
He added: ‘To ensure this new law works as intended, it will be absolutely crucial to ensure that it is applied consistently in terms of prosecution and sentencing.
‘We also believe that the offences of causing death by careless driving and causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs should include causing serious injury.’
Mr. Cuerden of PHC Law personal injury solicitors said:“The new penalties soon to be enforced by the Government are needed. The amount of fatal accident claims and serious injuries we deal with on a day-to-day basis is frightening, most of the cases we deal with are often as a direct result of speeding.”
He added: “Not only do the consequences of someone else’s negligence directly affect the accident victim; it can also by life-changing for the victim’s families too”
“Hopefully, the new penalties that are going to be introduced by the Government will drastically reduce the number of fatalities that occur across Britain’s roads.”