Monday 13 April 2015
Brake, the road safety charity
Brake, the road safety charity, has congratulated the government on delivering desperately needed improvements to justice for bereaved and injured victims of disqualified drivers, as part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act coming into force today (13 April).
The new rules mean anyone convicted of causing death by driving while disqualified will face a maximum of 10 years in prison, up from only two years previously. Drivers convicted of the new offence of causing serious injury by driving while disqualified will face up to four years in prison.
A wider review of all driving offences and charges by the Ministry of Justice is ongoing.
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This is an important day for everybody involved in campaigning for better justice for victims of criminal driving. Getting behind the wheel when a court has already found you to be a danger on the road, and has disqualified you from doing so, is one of the most selfish decision you can make as a driver. It is entirely right that maximum sentences are being increased, and we hope that judges will make use of them where appropriate.
“This is a good first step to securing better justice for victims and families, many of whom have been left feeling betrayed by inappropriate charges and paltry sentences. There are a number of other urgent issues with how the justice system handles cases of criminal driving, and Brake will be pressuring whoever forms the next government to follow the current Ministry of Justice review through to a satisfactory conclusion.”
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, 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.
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.