Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has welcomed the launch of the Government’s consultation into introducing harsher sentences for dangerous or careless driving offences.
The announcement comes a fortnight after the Gazette joined other Johnston Press titles and the i newspaper to launch the Drive For Justice campaign.
Our initiative is calling for changes in the law to make sentencing fit the crime for those who kill or seriously injure people on the roads.
An investigation revealed that not a single person has been handed the maximum 14-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving since Parliament lengthened the sentence from 10 years in 2004. The average sentence is five years, with dozens escaping jail altogether.
The Government consultation seeks to garner public views on sentences for driving offences.
Proposals put forward by Ministers include introducing life sentences for causing death by dangerous driving; life sentences for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs; and a new three-year jail term for careless drivers causing serious injury.
Anne-Marie said: “Dangerous driving can be a real problem here in Northumberland and I regularly receive letters from local residents concerned at how menial some of the present sentences are for those convicted of death by dangerous driving.
“Victims’ families receive a whole life sentence, yet often the perpetrator is out of prison within seven years.
“I am pleased the Government is tackling this problem and treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves and I would encourage people to take part in the consultation.
“If the proposals are supported, they could provide a further deterrent to those thinking of getting behind the wheel after drinking. One careless decision can wreck lives, and I hope these measures will go some way to preventing those tragic events.”
The consultation which is now open can be completed via the Ministry of Justice website and closes on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.
To sign our petition calling for stiffer punishments for drivers who kill or seriously injure, visit www.tinyurl.com/zcgja88