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. "
Notes to editors:
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.