‘The penalties should be much more severe’

Lauren Prior
Lauren Prior

Drink-driver fined £80 and is banned

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A DOTING mum who went to hell and back when her daughter nearly died in a car crash is throwing her support behind our campaign for tougher sentences on dangerous drivers.

Jane Prior has called for an overhaul of the legal system to ensure that danger drivers get punished for their actions.

She wrote a letter to The News, saying she fully supports the Get Tough On Danger Drivers campaign, which was launched following the tragic deaths of Payton Sparks, from Leigh Park, and Olivia Lewry and Jasmine Allsop, from Gosport.

As reported, the number of cases of death by dangerous driving has gone up from 164 three years ago to 226 last year.

Only nine per cent of drivers convicted get more than five years.

Justice Minister Chris Grayling has asked the Sentencing Council to investigate a possible review of the 14-year maximum sentence.

Jane’s 22-year-old daughter Lauren was left in a coma after being hurled into a brick wall when a car she was a passenger in lost control on an Emsworth roundabout in 2009.

The driver received a £200 fine and a 12-month driving ban for careless driving, a separate offence to death by dangerous driving.

But were it not for the ground-breaking treatment of doctors at Wessex Neurological Unit, which treated Lauren for many months as she clung to life, the outcome may have been different.

Jane, who lives in Chalton, near Clanfield, said: ‘I’m in total support of your campaign and will be happy to assist in any way I can.

‘Young drivers in particular are not aware that they are in control of a machine that can kill and maim people.

‘The penalties should be much more severe, to act as a deterrent to any driver who causes such devastation to their victims and families.

‘Maybe they should visit the intensive care unit, so they can see the damage that they cause?’

She added: ‘At the moment, it’s disgusting and insulting.

‘These dangerous drivers are just able to carry on with their lives.

‘Whereas years later, it still affects the families and victims themselves.

‘It’s five years on and Lauren’s still suffering.’