The petition of residents of the UK,
Declares that too many lives have been lost due to dangerous driving; further that the House is currently reviewing a Bill relating to death by dangerous driving which currently carries a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison; and further that petitioners maintain that this sentence does little justice for families who have lost loved ones due to the recklessness of others.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to bring forward this Bill for urgent review and further change the law so that the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving can be increased to imprisonment for life.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—
Observations from The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Rory Stewart):
Killer drivers ruin lives. Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses. This Government are committed to making sure that the courts have sufficient powers to deal with driving offences appropriately and proportionately.
In October last year we published the Government response to the consultation on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury. In that response we confirmed our proposals to: increase the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years’ imprisonment to life; increase the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs; and create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.
These proposals will require a change to primary legislation. The Government propose to introduce a Bill as soon as Parliamentary time allows and we continue to look for appropriate opportunities to present these provisions to Parliament.
We are, in the meantime, taking the opportunity to address other issues of concern related to safer roads, such as serious offences resulting in death or injury committed by cyclists and cases involving police pursuits.
I welcome the support expressed for these changes and stress again that we are seeking to introduce our proposals for reform of the law as soon as is practicable.
No sentence can of course make up for the loss of a loved one but we are focused on getting the law right, to ensure the changes we make are comprehensive and proportionate, and, we hope, might help avoid some further unnecessary deaths on our roads.