ALAN MAK: Killer drivers should pay by facing life sentences

SAFETY Alan Mak with Rebecca Roe-Stacey and road safety campaigners in Leigh Park
SAFETY Alan Mak with Rebecca Roe-Stacey and road safety campaigners in Leigh Park

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Havant MP ALAN MAK welcomes government moves to bring in longer jail terms for those who kill while behind the wheel

BEHIND every conviction of a killer driver is a victim, somebody who had their life cut short by the irresponsible actions of others.

One victim was Payton Sparks, a 16-year-old girl from Havant, who was killed in 2013 by dangerous driving. One example of a family left heartbroken by this crime.

That’s why people who kill by driving dangerously or cause serious injuries after getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol need to understand there will be tough consequences.

In the past year I’ve been working to ensure the law is strengthened, both as a constituency MP and as part of the team at the Ministry of Justice through my role as parliamentary private secretary.

So I am pleased the government has now confirmed plans for stronger sentences for killer drivers – including life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving, and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs.

In addition a new offence of causing serious injury through careless driving is to be created, all part of action to make roads safer.

I hope with new sentences in place, it will deter people from speeding, street racing or using a mobile phone while driving. In 2015, 122 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving.

I know it has been an issue that The News has been campaigning tirelessly on.

Reading some of the tragic stories highlighted in the recent Drive For Justice campaign showed something needed to be done.

I’ve also backed residents who have campaigned for increased road safety such as Rebecca Roe-Stacey, a Leigh Park resident.

The data from the consultation was overwhelmingly supportive: 70 per cent of responses thought the maximum penalty for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving should be increased to life imprisonment.

Killer drivers rip apart families and ruin lives, that’s why the message is now clear, if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.