Articles Tagged ‘roads to justice - Brake the road safety charity’

Brake applauds new tougher sentences for drivers who kill and injure

News from Brake
Sunday, 15 October 2017
news@brake.org.uk

The Ministry of Justice has today (Sunday, 15 October 2017) announced long-awaited plans to increase maximum sentences for drivers who cause death by speeding, racing or using a mobile phone. 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 Ministry has said.

Commenting on the news, Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Today's announcement is a major victory for the families of victims and charities, including Brake, who have tirelessly campaigned for punishments which better fit road crimes that kill and seriously injure people.

"We applaud the Government for at last recognising that the statute books have been weighed against thousands of families who have had their lives torn apart through the actions of drivers who have flagrantly broken the law.

"In addition to tougher penalties, Government must also make road policing a national priority, reversing savage cuts to front line resources so that laws are properly enforced in the first place. Figures released only last month reveal that almost 1,800 people were killed on British roads last year - a four per cent rise since 2015. There is an urgent need for a road collision investigation branch, similar to those already in existence for air, rail and sea, so that lessons can be learned to prevent future deaths and serious injuries on the roads."

/ENDS

Notes to editors 

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Brake responds to sentencing of Adam Elliott for dangerous driving

News from Brake

16 June 2017

 

Judge Robert Adams, sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, today handed Adam Elliott, 26, a nine-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, a £100 fine and £1,500 prosecution costs, for dangerous driving.

 

Adam Elliott had previously admitted charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance at a previous hearing.

 

He will also be disqualified from driving for two years and has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of rehabilitation activity.

 

Commenting on the sentencing, Jason Wakeford, from road safety charity Brake, said: "This driver has shown total disregard for the safety of others on the road and the law. It's nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed by his reckless actions.

 

"On average, five people die on our roads each day. We believe that sentences for those who endanger, injure or kill should be much tougher, serving as a better warning  to those who flagrantly flout the law. There also needs to be more investment in road traffic policing, so the police have the resources needed to take more dangerous drivers off our roads."

Brake responds to sentencing of Mohmed Patel for causing death by dangerous driving

News from Brake
Tuesday 7 August 2018
 
Mohmed Salman Patel has today been jailed for six years and been disqualified from driving for nine years after being found guilty of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. Mr Patel was found to have been using his mobile phone to text moments before he collided with Rachel Murphy and Shelby Maher on 20 April 2016
.
Commenting on the sentencing, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“Mr Patel’s selfish actions resulted in the tragic and needless deaths of Rachel Murphy and Shelby Maher and yet he will only face a maximum of six years in jail - a pitifully lenient sentence for such an awful crime. Ten months ago, the Government announced it would introduce tougher sentences for drivers who kill and yet the law remains unchanged. The Government needs to stop sitting on its hands and introduce this legislation - road crash victims deserve justice.”
 
“Mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common on our roads and its consequences, as in this case, can be truly catastrophic. The deaths of Rachel and Shelby must act as a wake-up call to the Government and technology companies that action needs to be taken to stop illegal phone use behind the wheel. Research has shown that smartphone owners can’t go 12 minutes without checking their phone and the implications for this for road safety must be acknowledged and acted upon. "
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
 About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake urges full review of road safety laws as cycling offence consultation is launched

News from Brake
Sunday, 12 August 2018
 
The Department for Transport has announced the launch of a consultation which will look at whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for dangerous cyclists.
 
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said:
“Whilst the intentions behind the Government’s announcement are sound, they are trying to fix a fundamentally flawed legal framework. A full review of road safety law is required and frankly long overdue. All too often families are denied justice, with drivers who kill let off with pitifully lenient sentences, and the public endangered through dangerous drivers evading driving bans. The Government must review all road safety law to protect the public and deliver justice for the families of those devastated by road death.”
 
The Department for Transport has also announced that it will look at updating parts of the Highway Code, including measures to counter the dangerous practice of ‘close passing’ and that it has commissioned the Cycle Proofing Working Group to develop national guidance and best practice for cycling and walking infrastructure, so that all road users can benefit from the best facilities.
 
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said:
“Cycling is one of the healthiest, cheapest and most environmentally-friendly forms of transport available and yet cyclists’ vulnerability put many off getting on a bike. We welcome the move by the Government to address the danger of “close passing” but encourage them to go further to improve cycle safety. This year’s Road Safety Week theme is ‘Bike Smart’ and from 19-25 November we will be encouraging everyone to shout about the safety of those on two wheels – we hope the Government listens and acts to improve cyclist safety”
 
 [ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
  • Road Safety Week is the UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity.
Road Safety Week aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the Week and beyond. It also provides a focal point for professionals working in road safety to boost awareness and engagement in their work. Road Safety Week website
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

One year on and still no sign of tougher sentences for killer drivers

News from Brake
Monday 15 October 2018
news@brake.org.uk
 
Road safety campaigners across the country remain perplexed by the Government’s refusal to deliver justice for the victims and bereaved families of road crashes. Exactly one year on from the announcement of tougher sentences for drivers who kill and seriously injure [1], the Government has failed to bring forward legislation and Brake, the road safety charity, and families of road crash victims across the UK are still waiting for justice.
 
On 15 October 2017, the Ministry of Justice announced plans for killer drivers to face life behind bars, following successful campaigning from Brake on behalf of road crash victims. Life sentences are to be introduced for those who cause death by dangerous driving or cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.
 
One year on from the announcement, and despite repeated questioning in the House of Commons by Bradford South MP Judith Cummins – Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year and a vocal campaigner on tackling dangerous driving [2] - the Justice Minister has been unable to say when the tougher sentences would be implemented [3], stating that they would be incorporated with the findings of government’s review of cycle safety [4], a process with no end in sight and one which is taking a fundamentally flawed approach to road justice reform [5].
 
Commenting on the delay in implementation, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“It is completely unacceptable that these new tougher sentences have not yet been implemented. The Government needs to focus its attention on the issues which matter most to road safety - delivering justice for road crash victims and keeping dangerous drivers off our roads. The intentions behind the ongoing cycling offences review are sound but the prioritisation of this issue ahead of dangerous drivers is illogical and simply putting the cart before the horse.”
 
“Drivers who kill or seriously injure all too often receive lenient sentences. By delaying the introduction of new tougher sentences, the Government is causing further suffering to families who have lost loved ones in road crashes. The Government must implement these tougher sentences as first priority, delivering on their promise to road crash victims, and then initiate a review of the flawed legal framework for road justice.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors:
[3] Ministry of Justice response to Written Question from Judith Cummins MP, Bradford South.
Dangerous Driving: Sentencing, Commons, 137592: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the press release entitled Life sentences for killer drivers, published by his Department on 15 October 2017, what progress he has made on (a) implementing an increase to the maximum penalty for the offences of causing death by (i) dangerous driving and (ii) careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs to life imprisonment and (b) creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.
Answered by: Rory Stewart MP, Justice Minister, on 27 April 2018
The government is committed to making sure that the courts have sufficient powers to deal with driving offences appropriately and proportionately. We will bring forward proposals for changes in the law as soon as parliamentary time allows. These proposals will take account of, and incorporate, all of government’s proposals for safer roads, including those arising from the Department of Transport’s review of cycle safety.
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Victims families' anger at delayed introduction of tougher sentences for killer drivers

News from Brake
Friday 15 June 2018
 
  • Eight months on from announced changes, road crash victims demand action now
  • Delay to policy implementation denying families justice – Derek Raynor’s killer, convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in May 2018, will likely serve just half of 6-year sentence rather than a maximum of life
  • Brake Parliamentarian of the Year, Judith Cummins MP, adds her voice to calls for action
 
Road safety campaigners have urged the Government to introduce announced changes to sentencing for killer drivers, as families across the UK await justice. Eight months on from the Government’s announcement of tougher sentences for drivers who kill and seriously injure [1], Brake, the road safety charity, and families of road crash victims across the UK are still waiting for changes to the law to deliver justice.
 
On 15 October 2017, the Ministry of Justice announced plans for killer drivers to face life behind bars, following successful campaigning from Brake on behalf of road crash victims. Life sentences are to be introduced for those who cause death by dangerous driving or cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.
 
Eight months on from the announcement, and despite repeated questioning in the House of Commons by Bradford South MP Judith Cummins – Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year and a vocal campaigner on tackling dangerous driving [2] - the Justice Minister has been unable to say when the tougher sentences would be implemented [3].
 
The Government’s eight months of inaction has angered the families of road crash victims who are calling for the changes to be implemented now. Derek Raynor, 81, was tragically killed when using a pedestrian crossing in Hammersmith on 4 March 2017. The driver had been travelling double the 30mph speed limit when he ran a red light and struck Mr Raynor. The driver pleaded guilty to causing Mr Raynor’s death by dangerous driving but was sentenced to just six years and four months in prison. Sentencing the case in May 2018, seven months after the Government announcement but with its implementation still on hold, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC stated, “If I had unfettered discretion, you may be facing rather longer in custody.”
 
Timothy Coaker, nephew to Mr Raynor, is demanding the Government introduce the new laws now. Mr Coaker said:
“Derek was tragically taken from us by the very definition of a dangerous driver; a repeat offender who showed no remorse for his actions. Yet, Derek’s killer will serve just three years behind bars whilst Derek is gone forever.
 
The Government’s delay in implementing tougher penalties has denied my family the justice that we need and that Derek deserves. No doubt countless other families across the UK are suffering the same heartache. The Government has a duty to families like mine to ensure that justice is delivered by bringing in these new laws now, not several months or years down the line. There can be no excuse.”
 
Commenting on the delay in implementation, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, said:
“It is completely unacceptable that these new tougher sentences have not yet been implemented. There is absolutely no reason why it should take so long to deliver the justice that families, like Derek Raynor’s, deserve.
 
Drivers who kill or seriously injure all too often receive lenient sentences. By delaying the introduction of new tougher sentences, the Government is causing further suffering to families who have lost loved ones in road crashes. The Government must implement these tougher sentences now.”
 
Adding her voice to calls for the Government to implement tougher sentences now, Judith Cummins MP said:
 “My heart goes out to Mr Raynor’s family. They deserve better than a Government which is dragging its feet over much needed reforms to our criminal justice system.
 
I have continuously campaigned for tougher sentences to help crack down on dangerous driving in my constituency and across the country. But despite repeated questions in parliament, I am yet to receive a satisfactory answer as to the when these vital changes will be brought forward.
 
It has taken far too long already. The Government’s inaction is piling further misery on to victim’s families such as Mr Raynor’s and far too many others - they must act now.”
 
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors:
 
Read Judith Cummins MP’s Brake blog on this issue here.
[3] Ministry of Justice response to Written Question from Judith Cummins MP, Bradford South.
Dangerous Driving: Sentencing, Commons, 137592
 
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the press release entitled Life sentences for killer drivers, published by his Department on 15 October 2017, what progress he has made on (a) implementing an increase to the maximum penalty for the offences of causing death by (i) dangerous driving and (ii) careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs to life imprisonment and (b) creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.
 
Answered by: Rory Stewart MP, Justice Minister, on 27 April 2018
The government is committed to making sure that the courts have sufficient powers to deal with driving offences appropriately and proportionately.
 
We will bring forward proposals for changes in the law as soon as parliamentary time allows. These proposals will take account of, and incorporate, all of government’s proposals for safer roads, including those arising from the Department of Transport’s review of cycle safety.
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.