Campaigners reveal hike in jail sentence

SPECULATION is rife that the government's long-awaited review of dangerous driving penalties could increase the maximum sentence to 20 years for those who kill.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:51 am

Despite no-one receiving the maximum of 14 years for death by dangerous driving since it was extended from 10 years to 14 years in 2004, campaigners say increasing the maximum would be good.

Duncan Dollimore, senior road safety and legal campaigner for Cycling UK, which has long been campaigning for a review of motoring offences, has been invited to take part in the consultation.

He told The News: ‘We have been told there will be a review looking at motoring offences and penalties, with a public consultation beginning before Christmas, and an intention to bring legislation before parliament in 2017.

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‘At the moment, the maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving is 14 years.

‘The judge will never impose that. There is not a sentence that ever gets the maximum. It has to be the worst possible case. Judges will probably only go up to 90 per cent of the maximum.

‘They also give a discount for an early guilty plea.

‘They are talking about possibly having the maximum sentence extended to 20 years.

‘This would not mean someone would get the 20 years but the sentences themselves would go up and be higher.’

Yesterday The News and its sister papers launched Drive for Justice, calling for tougher sentences for those who kill. Hundreds of people yesterday signed the petition, backing families’ calls for tougher sentences, after they said the killing of their loved ones felt ‘like murder’.

The campaign is also calling for more driving bans to be dished out to people guilty of driving offences.

Figures reveal driving bans being given by courts are rare and becoming rarer. Between 2005 and 2015, they dropped to less than 60,000 from 150,000.

The campaign comes as Road Safety Week is running this week across the country.

Councillor Rob Humby is transport boss at Hampshire County Council.

He said: ‘The county council’s road safety team work with the police and other partner organisations all year round to help people use the roads as safely as possible.’

The week has been themed around the letter S and Cllr Humby is urging people to be slow by not breaking the speed limit, sober, secure, silent by not using a phone phone, sharp and sustainable by walking or cycling instead.