Dangerous drivers set to face lifetime jail sentence in justice for road crash victims

Dangerous drivers set to face lifetime jail sentence in justice for road crash victims

New driving law proposals could see the maximum jail sentence for those who have caused death by dangerous driving will be dramatically increased. Sentences will dramatically rise from just 14 years to the maximum life imprisonment penalty.

An amendment to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 will be tabled by former Prime Minister Theresa May during this afternoon’s sitting in the House of Commons. 

The former PM has called it the ‘Violet Grace Law’ in memory of a child who was killed three years ago in a shocking display of dangerous driving. 

Four year old Violet was killed in 2017 by a stolen car which was travelling at over 80mph in a 30mph zone. 

Alongside this, a separate offence of causing death by driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs could also change. 

READ MORE: JAILED: Hit-and-run driver who killed four-year-old girl

She said: “One of the areas of sentencing policy that has already been reviewed and consulted on is the whole question of death by dangerous driving. 

“Particularly when drugs are involved, such as in the tragic case of my constituent Bryony Hollands.

“The previous government committed to legislate on this issue to lengthen sentences in certain circumstances.

“This is not in the Queen’s Speech. Is this Government committed to legislate and, if so, when?”

Replying to the comments, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland revealed the Government’s commitment “remains absolutely crystal clear”. 

He said it was something they “want to get on with as soon as possible” which may suggest Ms May could have party backing. 

If the Bill is successful today, it will need to clear several more stages to become law. 

But the policy could be backed by her Conservative colleagues in Government which could help speed up the process. 

A petition for the introduction of Violet Grace’s law to boost dangerous driving sentences received over 167,500 signatures. 

Violet’s parents have previously said that under current rules the offender “will serve less time in prison than Violet was alive”. 

The driver Aidan McAteer was sentenced to nine years and four months in jail while passenger Dean Brennan was sentenced to six years and eight months. 

Both will spend just half of their sentence in prison and the other half on licence meaning McAteer will leave in 2021. 

Replying to the petition in 2019, the government said: “Driving offences can have devastating consequences for victims and their loved ones. 

“Sentencing in individual cases is always a matter for the courts, which are independent.”

Published at Tue, 21 Jul 2020 12:39:00 +0000