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Killer drivers to face to life sentences

Killer drivers to face to life sentences

Dangerous drivers who kill are set to face life sentences, under plans put forward by government ministers.

The new plans come as ministers seek to deter dangerous, criminal behaviour on our roads, and make sure killer drivers face tougher penalties.

Dangerous drivers causing death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone will be among those facing the same sentences as those charged with manslaughter.  Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs could also be handed life sentences – an increase on the current upper limit of 14 years.

A consultation on the plans will run until February 2017.  Other key proposals include creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a maximum sentence of three years, and increasing the minimum driving bans for those convicted of causing death.

“Killer drivers ruin lives,” Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said.  “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.”

The move has been welcomed by road safety organisation, Brake.  However, its Campaigns Director Gary Rae said:  “We remain concerned that the charge of ‘careless’ driving could remain.  We also want clarification on whether the current automatic 50% discount, where convicted drivers serve only half their tem in jail, will still apply for these new, proposed sentences.  At this stage, these are proposals, and we will be giving our full response before the February deadline.  We would urge others, especially those directly affected by road deaths, to respond to the consultation.”

Added: 09 January 2017

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