New dangerous driving law proposals will send ‘strong message’ to motorists

New dangerous driving law proposals will send ‘strong message’ to motorists

10/19/2020

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Dangerous drivers could face harsher sentences as a new bill by former Prime Minister Theresa May makes it way through the Commons. The changes will increase courts freedom to issue tougher sentences for those who have committed serious motoring crimes.

The updates could see some offenders issued life sentences to stop them walking clear after just years.

It comes after police forces have revealed that 555 drivers were killed or seriously injured in England and Wales through dangerous driving in the year to March.

This was fewer cases than a year before but a general trend has shown an increase since 2008.

Changes to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 will be known as “Violet Grace Law” in memory of a four-year-old child who was killed in a shocking dangerous driving incident.

The child was struck by a vehicle at over 80mph in a 30mph speed zone just three years ago.

However, the driver was jailed for just nine years and four months, meaning the offender could be released just next year.

However, Mrs May could face opposition passing the bill as a second reading was blocked on Friday.

A cry of “object” was heard in the chamber when the Bill’s title was read out meaning a second reading could not be offered at this stage.

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RAC spokesman Simon Williams said the proposed changes for tougher sentences would send a “strong message” to offenders.

He said: “While Britain might have some of the safest roads in Europe, it is a horrendous thought that each year more than 500 drivers in England and Wales are convicted of killing others as a result of their decision to drive dangerously.

Permitting courts to issue much tougher sentences will send a strong message to motorists and will go some way towards reassuring families of victims killed in collisions that the law is on their side.

“The Government announced its intention to introduce stronger sentences back in 2017, but sadly since then little progress has been made.

“That’s why this Bill is so important – we may still be some way off the Violet-Grace amendment being made.

“But many people up and down the country will be interested to see the progress that it makes in the hope that one day soon those convicted of these truly terrible crimes will have to spend much longer behind bars.”

The new driving proposals were backed by two-thirds of road users in a massive RAC survey.

The poll revealed that a quarter of road users believe maximum sentences should be increased from the current 14 year maximum.

A massive 40 percent revealed that courts should be able to hand out a life sentence if they believe this is appropriate.

Mr Williams said: “Drivers we surveyed are crystal clear in their belief that the current maximum sentence that courts can hand down for causing death by dangerous driving is insufficient and doesn’t reflect just how devastating these crimes are.”

The government revealed its initial 2017 consultation was met with an “overwhelming repose” backing the proposals.

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