Road deaths and injuries cause utter devastation to families and communities. Yet drivers who kill, harm and endanger are often let off with grossly inadequate penalties, compounding the suffering of bereaved and injured victims and leaving many feeling betrayed by the justice system. Almost half of drivers convicted of killing are not jailed; only one in seven is sentenced to five years or more.
Crimes that can and do lead to death and injury – like speeding and mobile phone use at the wheel – can be effectively deterred through strong enforcement and penalties. Yet traffic policing numbers are decreasing, and penalties for these crimes remain woefully low.
What needs to be done?
We call for tougher charges and penalties for driving offences, to appropriately reflect the suffering caused, provide desperately needed justice for victim families, and deter risky driving behaviour.
In the case of deaths or injuries, this means: revised charges to stop drivers being let off on lesser 'careless' driving charges; much stiffer penalties for hit and run and disqualified drivers; and stronger sentencing guidelines, allowing judges to hand out maximum sentences in the most serious cases.
We also need tougher penalties for drivers who endanger through risky driving behaviour – such as speeding and mobile phone use – to send a message that these are serious crimes, deter risky drivers and protect the public. Law-breaking drivers must also know they will be caught, which means we need more dedicated traffic police to stop them.
What can I do?
- Share the campaign on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ using the buttons at the top of the page
- Tweet your support: @Brakecharity, #Crackdown
- Make Brake's Pledge to help prevent further tragedies on the road
- Write to your MP calling for tougher penalties for driving offences
- Sign up to our monthly bulletin for updates on our campaigns and how you can help
- Fundraise to support Brake's campaigns and vital support work
- Sign up for the UK's flagship road safety event, Road Safety Week, in November
- If you have been affected by a road death or injury and want to be involved in our campaigns, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story
Find out what you can do to help our other campaigns.
Brake welcomes tougher sentencing for drivers who kill, 22/05/2015
Brake backs police plea for lower drink drive limit, calls for greater priority for roads policing, 19/05/2015
Make traffic policing a priority, says charity, as half of drivers flout traffic laws, 28/04/2015
Brake hails justice for victims of disqualified drivers as tougher sentences come into effect, 13/04/2015
MP wins national road safety award for campaign for justice for victims of criminal driving, 27/03/2015
Better justice for road crime victims: Brake supports launch of MP's manifesto for change, 20/03/2015
Charity urges CPS to take on recommendations as inspectors find victims being failed, 04/02/2015
Brake urges investment in traffic police in response to falling numbers and rising casualties, 09/02/2015
Brake joins call for cross-border enforcement to save lives on UK roads, 18/07/2014
Brake welcomes increase in fines for motorway speeding and phone use at the wheel, 11/06/2014
Government figures show ongoing lack of justice following road deaths and injuries, 27/05/2014
MP wins national award for campaign for tougher sentences for banned drivers who kill, 14/05/2014
Brake welcomes tougher penalties for unlicensed drivers who kill and injure, 06/05/2014
This isn't justice: four in five support tougher penalties for killer drivers, 21/03/2014
Clwyd South MP wins national road safety award for tougher sentences for drivers who kill, 10/02/2014
Two in three drivers admit breaking traffic laws in Brake and Direct Line survey, 09/10/2013
Risky law-breaking by drivers won't be tolerated, as new fixed penalty fines come into force, 16/08/2013
Traffic police cuts could mean deadly, drunk and drugged drivers get away with it, 09/07/2013
Charity welcomes fixed penalty for careless driving, but calls for higher fines, 05/06/2013
Deadly drivers beware: boost for Justice for Jamie campaign, 20/03/2013
Greg Mulholland MP named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, 17/01/2013
Drivers demand tougher justice for traffic offenders, 20/09/2012
Karl McCartney MP wins road safety award for campaign to tackle uninsured driving, 06/02/2012
Huge roads policing cuts put public at risk, warns charity, 23/01/2012
Karl Turner MP wins Brake and Direct Line annual national campaigner award, 13/01/2012
Brake responds to the Labour Party Justice review, 12/01/2012
MP wins Brake award for campaign for justice for serious injury victims, 31/10/2011
Brake calls for drivers with 12 points to be banned, revealing 10,000 are still driving, 19/10/2011
Brake welcomes new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, 07/10/2011
Brake responds to consultation on causing death by driving offences, 19/04/2007
Brake responds to CPS consultation on prosecuting bad driving, 16/03/2007