Government announces driving offences and penalties review
Grayling also announced proposals to increase the maximum sentence for drivers who kill while disqualified from driving, unlicensed or uninsured, will from two to ten years. A separate offence of causing serious injury whilst disqualified, unlicensed or uninsured is also proposed, with a maximum sentence of four years.
In 2012, there were 16 prosecutions and 13 convictions for causing death by driving while disqualified, unlicensed or uninsured.
The Government says it aims to bring these changes into effect in early 2015.
Campaigning for change
CTC’s Road Justice campaign has welcomed the Government’s announcement as CTC has long campaigned for tougher sentences for those who flout driving bans. The campaign also wants to see much greater use of driving bans for those who commit driving offences and wider use of non-custodial options such as vehicle confiscation, driver education and anti-social behaviour orders for those who commit offences without engaging in willful risk-taking.
We strongly welcome the Government’s commitment to a full review of all driving offences and penalties. CTC has long called for tougher sentences for those who flout driving bans, so we are pleased that custodial sentences for those who cause death and serious injury whilst disqualified will be increased.
Road Justice Campaign Coordinator
These announcements come after a petition calling on the Government to review and change sentencing guidelines - so that drivers who kill when disqualified from driving receive tougher sentences - was signed by almost 7,000 people.
The petition was set up by the family of Ross and Clare Simons who were killed whilst riding their tandem in January 2014 by a driver who was disqualified at the time and had 11 previous convictions for driving whilst disqualified and four for dangerous driving. He received a sentence of 10 years and 6 months.
The petition was supported by Chris Skidmore, MP for Kingswood where Ross and Clare lived. He succeeded in getting a cross-party parliamentary debate on the law on dangerous driving in January of this year.