Thousands of people have had their say on plans to introduce life sentences for killer drivers.
The Ministry of Justice opened the consultation, on 5 December 2016, and attracted over 1,000 replies in just 3 days, before reaching more than 9,000 when it closed on 1 February 2017.
The overwhelming response is one of the highest for a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) consultation, and shows just how passionate people are about road safety and those who break the rules of the road.
Those contributing included victims, bereaved families, road safety groups and charities.
“Killer drivers”, said Justice Minister Sam Gyimah “ruin lives. While we can never compensate for the loss of a loved one, we are clear that the punishment must fit the crime.”
The contributions to the consultation will now be carefully considered within the context of the Government’s pledge to consider sentencing powers available to the courts for the most serious driving offences.
The consultation sought views on whether the current maximum penalties available to the courts should be increased.
The proposals included:
- increasing the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life
- increasing the maximum sentence 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, with a maximum sentence of 3 years
- increasing minimum driving bans for those convicted of causing death.
The Government set out its plans in the coming months. But employers who provide cars or other vehicles for their employees or expect employees to use their own cars for work would be wise to use the level of public interest in the consultation process as a catalyst for increasing awareness amongst their employees of the importance of safe driving habits.