#Whitlamslaw: Make drink driving laws apply to vehicles being driven on private land

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#Whitlamslaw: Make drink driving laws apply to vehicles being driven on private land

This petition had 2,945 supporters

Leanne Clarke, Senior Reporter, The Morley Observer and Advertiser started this petition to The Road Traffic Act 1988

We are backing Whitlam's Law, a campaign calling to make drink driving laws apply to vehicles being driven on private land.

The campaign comes after the death of 11-year-old Harry Whitlam who died on August 9 2013 after being struck by a reversing tractor on a working farm in Rothwell, West Yorkshire. 

The emergency services were called and Yorkshire Air Ambulance flew Harry to Leeds General Infirmary where, despite all efforts, he died from his injuries.

The driver at the time was found to be in excess of twice the legal drink drive limit, but because of a loop hole in the law, he escaped prosecution as the accident happened on private land. In 2015 a case was brought against him by the Health and Safety Executive and in December 2016 the driver was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety over the incident which led to Harry's death.

Harry's family, along with family solicitors Switalskis, is calling for the law to be changed to:

A)    Alter the drink-driving laws to cover offences that take place on private, not just public land. Had the driver been prosecuted for Causing Death by Careless Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol – we are advised by the prosecution lawyers that his likely sentence would have been six years. Instead, he was sentenced to 16 months and 2 weeks.

B)    Amend the sentencing tariff for HSE prosecutions of this nature to bring them in line with criminal sentencing powers The sentencing powers of judges hearing HSE Prosecutions cases of this nature is limited to two years.

We are giving our full support to the Whitlam family and hope others will do the same.

Petition Closed

This petition had 2,945 supporters