Greg Mulholland, MP for North West Leeds, has won Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Month Award after campaigning for automatic licence suspension for drivers who have killed or are caught at twice the drink-drive limit.
With backing from Mr Mulholland and Brake, the campaign was launched by the family of Jamie Still, who was killed by a drink driver in January 2011. The driver was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but allowed to keep his licence for eight months while he awaited trial.
Courts have the power to suspend a driver’s licence if they believe the driver charged is a significant danger to the public, but in many cases drivers charged with causing death are allowed to continue driving until their trial.
Inspired by Jamie’s family, Greg asked the Prime Minister to consider changing the law during Prime Minister’s Questions on 1 February. Mr Cameron agreed that it was an issue that needed consideration, and promised to look into it.
In May, Mr Mulholland welcomed the announcement in the Queen’s Speech to bring the Crime and Courts Bill forward during the next year, which he hopes will include legislation on this issue. Greg also secured a debate in Parliament on 17 July to try to persuade the Government to include provisions on bail conditions for those charged with dangerous or careless driving.
Crispin Blunt, victims’ minister, also congratulated Greg on his campaign and informed him guidance for courts was being reviewed and would be published for public consultation. He said he expected it to recommend a no-drive bail condition if a defendant is considered a danger to other road users.
Mr Mulholland said: “We need this change, and I hope that our continuing efforts will ensure that those who drive dangerously, or carelessly, and go on to kill will have their licences suspended as a condition of bail.”
For more information contact Brake on 01484 559909.