Road Safety GB has welcomed the idea of stronger penalties for ‘killer’ drivers, but has suggested the diminishing numbers of traffic police will limit the effectiveness of the new penalties.
Announced on 15 Oct, the new penalties mean that drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone could face sentences equivalent to manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life.
Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.
Sonya Hurt, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “While Road Safety GB supports the fact that the Government is taking this issue seriously, any sentencing regime will only be as effective as the enforcement resource that supports it. With ever reducing numbers of roads policing officers there will be less opportunity for these enhanced offences and sentences to be delivered.
“We also urge the relevant authorities to ensure that sentencing guidelines are reviewed to reflect the views of the over 9,000 respondents to the consultation.
“The very small minority of road users who will warrant this sanction do not reflect the responsible behaviours we expect from a civilised society, therefore the resources and systems need to be in place to ensure they pose no threat to innocent road users.”
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