Roads to Justice: facts & campaign updates

Key facts

  • The average prison sentence for a driver who has killed someone is four years.[2]
  • The maximum sentence for causing death by careless driving is only five years, compared to 14 for causing death by dangerous driving.[3]
  • In 2015, 188 drivers were charged with ‘causing death by dangerous driving’, while 201 were charged with ‘causing death by careless driving'.[4]
  • Between 2010 and 2015, the number of road-traffic police officers in England and Wales was cut by over a quarter, from 5,338 to 3,901.[5]
  • On-the-spot fines for potentially deadly driving offences (such as speeding, using a mobile phone at the wheel and careless driving) are just £100.[6]
  • A Brake and Direct Line survey found that nearly half (47%) of the drivers questioned want fixed-penalty fines for mobile-phone use at the wheel increased to £500 or more.[7]

Campaign updates

Ministry of Justice public consultation opens, 05/12/16
Ministry of Justice announces a consultation on changes to sentences for the most serious road offences, 05/12/16

Find out more

See Brake’s Factcheck pages on:

Read the real-life experiences of bereaved familes

Read about criminal charges after a fatal crash:

 

Return to our Roads to Justice campaign page 

 

[1] Criminal justice system statistics quarterly: December 2015, Ministry of Justice, 2016

[2] Criminal justice system statistics quarterly: December 2015, Ministry of Justice, 2016

[3] ‘Causing death by driving: Definitive guideline’, Sentencing Council guidelines, 2008

[4] Criminal justice system statistics quarterly: December 2015, Ministry of Justice, 2016

[5] 2015 sees further fall in numbers of dedicated roads policing officers, RAC press release, May 24 2016

[6] ‘Out of court disposals: Offences for which penalty notices are available’, Sentencing Council guidelines, 2015

[7] ‘A risky business: Tougher justice’, Report Three, Direct Line & Brake reports on safe driving 2012-2014