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Ministers launch consultation on causing death by dangerous driving proposals

View profile for Andy Munden
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New proposals from the government are being welcomed by Hampshire law firm, Warner Goodman, as they set to crack down on motorists who cause death by dangerous or careless driving. 

Currently, the punishment for this crime is a maximum custodial sentence of 14 years.  “Despite this law, in 2015 the average sentence was just under 4 years for a driver who had caused death by careless or dangerous driving,” explains Andy Munden, Personal Injury Lawyer for the firm.  “The new proposals from the government, announced by Justice Minister Sam Gyimah, will see this maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving increase from 14 years to life, which is being hailed as more fitting to the crime.”

Using a mobile phone behind the wheel

This new sentence would include drivers who cause death by speeding, street racing or using a mobile phone while driving.  “The use of a mobile phone behind the wheel has been a highly publicised topic in recent months with the Department of Transport announcing tougher penalties for those caught,” continues Andy.  “The fines will rise from £100 to £200 and penalty points will go from 3 to 6.  While it’s yet to be seen what impact this will have, it is a positive move to showing the severity of this offence.”

Causing death by careless driving

The maximum sentence increase from 14 years to life will also include causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs under the new proposals.  “They also include creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, which will receive a maximum sentence of three years, as well as increasing the length of time a driver is banned after committing these offences,” explains Andy.

“There are 5 people killed on our roads every single day, with many more seriously injured to the point where their lives will never be the same again, and for them and their families left behind it’s important that those responsible are given an appropriate punishment,” concludes Andy.  “In the Personal Injury team I regularly see the consequences of people not taking being a motorist seriously and I hope these proposals will be an increased deterrent for making people consider their actions behind the wheel.”

The government consultation on the proposals is to run until February 2017.  You can find out more about the consultation on the government website, or find out more about the Personal Injury team on their section of the website here.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.