Given we’re all starting to feel a bit festive here at RRHQ, this weeks’ Pick of the Week has stirred-up a bit of a debate. The Editor has been accused of picking an inappropriate topic, effectively putting a dampener on the festive frivolities.

But as we get ready to spend Christmas with loved ones, this weeks’ pick becomes very poignant and that’s why we decided to run with it.

It’s been announced that dangerous drivers who kill will face tougher sentences under plans put forward by government ministers. The Ministry of Justice has recognised that there is public concern over the sentencing for motorists who kill or seriously injure others on the road.

Those motorists that kill whilst behind the wheel could potentially face life sentences, with the Government announcing a consultation to look at plans to deter dangerous and criminal behaviour on UK roads.

The proposals include:

  • 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 and drugs from 14 years to life;
  • to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a maximum sentence of 3 years;
  • to increase the minimum driving bans for those convicted of causing death.

These proposals could see motorists facing the same sentences as those who are charged with manslaughter.

Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said, “Killer drivers ruin lives, their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic and unnecessary losses. While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime. My message is clear – if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.”

While the UK has one of the best road safety records in the world, in 2015 122 motorists were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 21 convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence.

The Ministry of Justice is asking for your view on these matters, and whether the current maximum penalties should be increased. Give your view here.

Do you agree with these proposals? What do you think is the distinction between ‘careless’ and ‘dangerous’ driving? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.