The UK government has announced tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving, and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Under the plans drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone will 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 following a government consultation which revealed substantial backing for the plans from a wide range of people including victims, bereaved families and road safety experts.
“We’ve taken a long hard look at driving sentences, and we received 9,000 submissions to our consultation,” said Justice Minister Dominic Raab. “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.”
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.