Breaking News: ‘Life sentences for killer drivers’
Oct 15, 2017 — Dear All,
It’s been nearly a year since we visited Downing Street to present our petition to the Prime Minister, and it’s been exactly 8 months since the consultation period finished.
Today, we have very good news to share with you as it looks like all the campaigning we have done (alongside other grieving families) has finally worked!
This news has been a long time coming, but we are very pleased to announce this at last.
The Ministry of Justice has just released this statement now.
“Ministers confirm plans to introduce tougher sentences for those who drive irresponsibly and devastate lives.
• life sentences will be introduced for those who cause death by dangerous driving, and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs
• new offence of causing serious injury through careless driving to be created
• part of government action to make roads safer for all and stop devastation caused by dangerous drivers and cyclists.
Killer drivers face life behind bars after plans to increase maximum sentences received resounding support from families and campaigners.
Ministers today confirmed that drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone could face sentences equivalent to manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life.
Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.
The move comes after an overwhelming response to to a government consultation which revealed substantial backing for the plans from a wide range of people including victims, bereaved families and road safety experts.
Today Ministers are announcing the outcome and confirmed the introduction of much tougher penalties as part of wider action across government to clamp down on dangerous, criminal behaviour on our roads.
Justice Minister Dominic Raab said:
We’ve taken a long hard look at driving sentences, and we received 9,000 submissions to our consultation. Based on the seriousness of the worst cases, the anguish of the victims’ families, and maximum penalties for other serious offences such as manslaughter, we intend to introduce life sentences of imprisonment for those who wreck lives by driving dangerously, drunk or high on drugs.
On the new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving,
Dominic Raab said:
We will introduce a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, punishable by imprisonment, to fill a gap in the law and reflect the seriousness of some of the injuries suffered by victims in this category of case.
The measures were confirmed in a government response to a consultation which will be published tomorrow (Monday 16 October 2017). The consultation sought views on whether current maximum penalties available to the courts should be increased, and received over 1,000 replies in just three days when launched in December 2016 – reaching more than 9,000 when it closed in February 2017.
The proposals confirmed today include:
• increasing the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life
• increasing the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years to life
• creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving
In 2016, 157 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 32 convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence.
Today’s announcement delivers on the government’s pledge to consider the sentencing powers available to the courts for the most serious driving offences - making sure that punishment reflects the harm caused to victims and their families.”
(from the Ministry of Justice Website)
Our last hope now is that the courts will actually give the maximum sentences to killer drivers!
Today’s announcement will not make any difference to the sentence given to Miriam’s killer, but hopefully these new guidelines will act as a strong deterrent to others.
If it saves one family going through what we are going through, then we will have accomplished something positive.
We appreciate and thank each and every one of you for your time in signing and sharing ‘A Moment for Miriam’ and for your continued support since our campaign began.
Public support has kept us going once again and for that we will be forever grateful.
Thank you all very much. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi.
Ceinwen, Richard, Katie-Ann, Megan & Lowri
x x x x x x
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