Gosport MP backs bill looking to change dangerous driving legislation

MP CAROLINE Dinenage has welcomed a bill that looks at introducing longer jail sentences for causing serious injury or death by dangerous driving.

Wednesday, 13th January 2016, 7:44 am
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2016, 7:30 am
Olivia Lewry, right, and Jasmine Allsop

The Gosport representative is backing the motion put forward yesterday by fellow MP Greg Mulholland.

But Ms Dinenage did say more needs to be done.

It comes as she supported the families of Olivia Lewry and Jasmine Allsop who were killed by dangerous driver Samuel Etherington. He was jailed for nine years.

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After their deaths in November 2013, Ms Dinenage met with the secretary of state for justice in an effort to secure proper justice for the victims of criminal driving and their families.

She said: ‘I am pleased that some progress has been made.

‘For example, the government has changed the law so that someone convicted of dangerous driving will now serve their driving ban upon release – rather than concurrent with their prison sentence. However, more needs to be done.

‘Greg Mulholland’s motion rightly focused on the need to strengthen penalties related to serious criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death. I welcome his efforts to improve the treatment of victims of such offences and their families.’

The bill was presented to the House of Commons and a second reading will take place on March 11.

As well as increases sentences, it will get rid of the charge of careless driving, saying that any driving that is bad is dangerous not careless.

The motion has won the support of road safety charity Brake.

Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications officer, said: ‘Too many victims of crashes caused by dangerous drivers are simply not getting justice at the moment.

‘Drivers who have killed while taking illegal risks have too often been labelled “careless” in the eyes of the law, and given insultingly low sentences, when their actions can only be described as dangerous and destructive.

‘Brake supports hundreds of victims and their families whose lives have been torn apart every year. It’s time this bill became law.’

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Mulholland, who represents Leeds north-west said: ‘Victims of serious crimes and their families have been let down.

‘We want to ensure that in 2017, and no later, that we get comprehensive legislation.’