A Bill which seeks to strengthen penalties for criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death was presented to parliament yesterday (12 January).
The Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons by Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland and has received backing from MPs across the House as well as from the road safety charity Brake.
The Bill also looks to redefine criminal driving offences and amend bail conditions for those charged, and enhance standards of investigation by the police and in the Courts.
It also demands improved standards of treatment for victims of criminal driving offences and their families within the justice system.
The Leeds North West MP has been a long time campaigner for better justice for victims of road crime.
Commenting on his own website
, Mr Mulholland said: “I have seen the devastation these serious crimes cause and witnessed just a little of the grief of the families of Jamie Still from Otley and David and Dorothy Metcalf from Cookridge, who were killed by criminally reckless driving.
“There are families up and down the country who have been through the same life shattering experience of losing loved ones. Yet as if the devastation and loss were not enough, too many of these families have been failed by the justice system, too many victims have been denied justice.
“We will all be holding government to account in the months ahead, especially with a consultation document on potential changes now expected later this year. I am writing to justice ministers to ask them to look at what the Criminal Driving Bill calls for and how soon we can bring forward these changes."
Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications officer for Brake, 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.”
Click here to watch the Bill being discussed in parliament on 12 January.