The Government has confirmed its plans to increase the maximum sentences for the offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. A new offence of causing serious injury through careless driving will also be introduced.
This comes after an overwhelming response to a government consultation which was released last year which revealed substantial backing for the plans to introduce tougher penalties and create the new offence.
The new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be punishable by imprisonment to reflect the seriousness of some of the injuries suffered by victims in these sorts of cases.
In the year of 2016, 157 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving and 32 people were convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. The aim of the proposals is to ensure that punishment reflects the harm caused to victims and their families and therefore the maximum penalty for these two offences will be increased to life imprisonment. The maximum sentence for causing death by racing, speeding, or using a mobile phone will also be increased to life imprisonment.
The Government is also considering whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for cyclists.
The proposals will become law as soon as parliamentary time allows and it will also incorporate the review of cycle safety.
If you require further information or advice on this, please contact the Regulatory Team on 01253 828300.