A petition set up as part of Brake’s ‘Roads to Justice’ campaign has passed 10,000 signatures, the amount needed to force a response from the Government.
Created by Gary Rae on behalf of the road safety charity, the online petition now has more than 13,500 signatures.
As of today (9 August), the Government has 24 days to issue a response to the petition, which has a deadline of 7 January 2017.
However, the petition still has a long way to go to reach the 100,000 signatures needed for a debate to be held in Parliament.
Launched on 11 July, Brake’s Roads to Justice campaign calls for the government to immediately review its guidelines surrounding the charges and sentences given to ‘criminal drivers’.
In 2014, 176 people were charged with ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ and 205 with ‘causing death by careless driving’. Brake argues that all careless driving is dangerous on the grounds that ‘if you are not giving your full attention to the road, you are more likely to crash’.
A study produced by Brake to underpin the campaign suggests there is ‘huge’ support for strengthening the charges and sentences.
At present drivers can either be charged with causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs. However, 91% of people questioned by Brake agreed they should be charged with manslaughter.
66% of respondents to the survey also believe drivers who kill should be jailed for a minimum of 10 years, while 84% think they should be charged with dangerous and not careless driving.
Mike Carr, Brake’s public affairs adviser, said: “Currently, almost half of drivers convicted of killing someone in a road collision are not jailed at all and the average prison sentence for a driver who has killed someone is less than four years.
“We feel change is long overdue and some degree of deterrent needs to be evident in sentencing.”