Tuesday 6 May 2014
Brake, the road safety charity
Justice secretary Chris Grayling MP today announced that disqualified drivers who kill and injure will face much tougher sentences, with a maximum of 10 years for those who kill and four years for those who seriously injure. The current maximum sentence is only two years for a death, and there is no specific offence for causing a serious injury while disqualified.
The justice secretary also announced his intention to conduct a full review of driving offences and penalties. Read more.
Reacting, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Brake has long campaigned for a shake-up of charges and penalties for risky and irresponsible drivers who kill and injure on our roads. Brake supports families who have been deeply and permanently affected by selfish and risky behaviour at the wheel and we frequently hear from these families that they feel terribly let down by our justice system. As such, we strongly welcome Chris Grayling's announcement of a thorough review this year.
The paltry sentences handed out for deaths and injuries caused by disqualified drivers, who have no right to be on the road in the first place, are one of the worst injustices in the current system, and Brake strongly welcomes the government's move to address this. Getting behind the wheel when you have been banned from driving is a deliberate and illegal choice, and too often leads to devastating tragedies - the penalties must reflect this."
Brake is a national road safety charity 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, a Fleet Safety Forum, practitioner services, 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.
Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.
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.