Brake backs new bill for Justice for Victims of Criminal Driving

News from Brake
Immediate issue: 11/01/ 2016

news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is backing Leeds North West MP Greg Mullholland as he aims to change the law to improve justice for the victims of road crime and their families and loved ones.

Mr Mullholland is presenting the Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon January 12th after launching his manifesto in Parliament last year.

His manifesto highlights serious problems with how the justice system deals with cases of criminal driving, and makes a number of recommendations for urgently-needed change. It has been developed by Greg Mulholland in partnership with Brake, other campaigning organisations, bereaved families, and a cross-party group of MPs and peers.

The Bill will seek to increase sentences for those convicted of criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death and also get rid of the charge of careless driving, as any driving that is bad is dangerous not careless. How can causing a death by driving under the influence of drink or drugs ever be simply “careless?” It will also demand improvements to the treatment of the victims of criminal driving offences and their families within the justice system.

Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications officer for Brake, the road safety charity said:

“Too many victims of crashes caused by dangerous drivers are simply not getting justice at the moment. They and their families are often left feeling let down and insulted by the use of inappropriately-termed charges and overly lenient sentences. Drivers who have killed while taking illegal risks have too often been labelled ‘careless’ in the eyes of the law, and given insultingly low sentences, when their actions can only be described as dangerous and destructive. Greg has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of crashes on two families in his constituency, and Brake supports hundreds of victims and their families whose lives have been torn apart every year. They have already suffered so much and we must make sure their pain is not compounded by a lack of justice. It’s time this bill became law.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West said:

“I look forward to presenting the Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill tomorrow. For far too long, victims and their families have been let down by the justice system. Sentences can be too short, bail conditions for offenders not strong enough and investigators sometimes not suitably trained. These are just some of the issues I will be highlighting next week. Victims and their families are right to expect more from the justice system, and my Bill will continue the fight for that.”

Notes to Editors:
For more information from Brake please contact news@brake.org.uk
For more information from Greg Mullholland MP please contact his Parliamentary Researcher Mo Saqib on saqibm@parliament.uk or 0207 219 3833

Brake campaigns for tougher penalties for drivers who kill, injure and endanger, alongside heightened enforcement, through its crackdown campaign. Tweet us @Brakecharity, #crackdown #roadstojustice

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 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.

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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.