Brake's long standing campaign for justice for families who experience the devastation of a serious injury at the hands of a dangerous driver has taken a great leap forward.
In October 2011 the Justice Secretary announced a new charge of 'causing serious injury by dangerous driving', which will carry a maximum sentence of five years and an unlimited fine. Read Brake's reaction. It is likely this will be implemented in 2012.
Currently, there is no charge that specifically recognises the causing of serious injury while driving, so drivers who inflict seriously injure through reckless and irresponsible behaviour may only be charged with 'dangerous driving', which carries a maximum of two years in jail, or 'careless driving', which carries a maximum penalty of a fine and disqualification. This has meant there is no justice if you suffer serious injury at the hands of a reckless, irresponsible driver.
While Brake welcomes the new charge, Brake believes that the maximum penalty for it should be on a par with that for causing death by dangerous driving: 14 years. Brake is also concerned that many drivers who cause appalling serious injuries will continue to be prosecuted only for the lesser charge of 'careless driving'. Brake will therefore continue to campaign for higher sentences for dangerous drivers who maim. Read more.
One-year-old Cerys Edwards was catastrophically brain damaged, paralysed and left unable to breathe without a ventilator by a dangerous driver driving at more than 70mph in a 30mph zone. Yet this despicable driver got away with a conviction for Dangerous Driving (a charge that doesn't mention any injury caused) and was out of prison in six months. Go to www.cerysedwards.co.uk to read more about this horrendous case that highlights the need for a charge of seriously injuring by bad driving.
A step towards justice for road crash victims, 07.10.11
Brake welcomes new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, 07.10.11
New hope for Cerys Edwards campaign, Birmingham Mail, 02.11.09
Family of crash victim Cerys Edwards petition Government, Birmingham Mail, 10.07.09
Rich kid jailed for tot horror, The Sun, 25.04.08