Brake highlights ongoing ‘lack of justice’

12.00 | 30 May 2014 | | 2 comments

Brake has renewed its calls for tougher charges and penalties for drivers who kill and injure, following the publication of Government criminal justice figures for 2013.

Brake says the figures show the “large proportion of drivers who kill and seriously injure being let off with relatively low penalties”. The charity says the figures “reinforce the importance” of a forthcoming review of charges and penalties, recently announced by Government.

In 2013, 438 drivers were convicted of causing death or bodily harm, 55% of whom were given immediate prison sentences, up very slightly from 54% in 2012. 14% were given more than five years in prison, up from 10% in 2012.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "These figures come as a reminder that sentences for drivers who kill and seriously injure do not reflect the atrocious suffering of victim families, many of whom feel deeply let down by the justice system.

“While the slight increase in higher-level sentences is encouraging, it does not go nearly far enough. We still see drivers who have killed through their risky actions being inappropriately charged with causing death by ‘careless driving’ and receiving low sentences as a result – one of the key issues that must be addressed in the forthcoming Government review.

“We also need to see fines for more common driving offences that pose a danger, like speeding and mobile phone use, rise dramatically to provide an effective deterrent."

Brake points out that in 2013, the average fine for driving offences was £214, compared with £1,000 for not having a TV licence.



Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    Many thanks, Duncan, riveting stuff from a man who clearly not only knows his subject but is passionate about it. I have circulated the link widely because it has implications outside road and aircraft safety. The main message, it seems to me, that blaming accidents on a few bad apples, who need to be controlled will not only not work but will make matters worse.

    I would also point out that many drivers involved in accidents that they certainly did not intend to happen, are often punished more harshly that those who set out deliberately to cause harm and injury – a difference that needs to be acknowledged.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Given what we know about Brake and its position on road safety it might pay us to look at an alternative view once in a while. If you have an hour to spare then I would recommend this presentation to a recent aviation safety conference given by Prof Sidney Dekker. You won’t like it.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.