Theresa May endorses The News’ campaign seeking justice for victims of drivers

Home secretary (right) with Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt The News editor Mark Waldron. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (143059-1)
Home secretary (right) with Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt The News editor Mark Waldron. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (143059-1)

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THE home secretary backed The News’ campaign to see dangerous drivers who kill while behind the wheel getting the jail time they deserve.

Theresa May said it was important the message continued to be highlighted that drinking and taking drugs before driving results in terrible consequences – and the government is doing what it can to ensure drivers are responsible.

Her endorsement came after Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage raised the issue in parliament this week on the first anniversary of the deaths of Olivia Lewry, 16, and Jasmine Allsop, 14.

The Gosport teenagers were killed when Sam Etherington, 20, crashed into them as they crossed a road while driving more than double the speed limit on a cocktail of drugs.

He was jailed for nine years, but will only serve half of his sentence behind bars in accordance with existing laws.

Ms Dinenage praised the government for approving new rules which will see killer drivers serving their road ban after they’ve come out of jail – but admitted more needs to be done to ensure families of victims get justice.

The News launched its Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign earlier this year calling for an increase in the maximum jail sentence for killer drivers following the girls’ deaths.

Mrs May said: ‘It’s very good that The News is highlighting this issue.

‘One of the things the government has done is some work on how we can better identify when people have drugs in their system which has affected their driving and led to accidents.

‘That’s an area that has not been explored before and it’s taken some time for a variety of reasons such as getting the relevant kit that can identify drugs in the bloodstream, but we are very sure that we need to do something about this.’

To read the main story on Theresa May’s visit to The News’ headquarters click here.