The Government take road safety very seriously and I commend the hon. Lady for her campaign to tackle bad driving and improve road safety through, I believe, a parliamentary petition. I want to reassure her that this Government want to see safer roads for all users. That is why, in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, we are increasing from 14 years to life imprisonment the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs. As for sentencing guidelines, these are produced by the Sentencing Council, which is independent of Parliament and Government.
I welcome that response. Road safety is a huge issue for people in Batley and Spen, so I have launched a petition to the House calling for additional support, resources and funding. I also recently attended a local memorial service for victims of road traffic incidents. Does the Minister agree that as part of the review into road traffic offences, we must put victims and their support at the heart of any strategy?
The hon. Lady is absolutely right. I congratulate her on championing those issues. Many hon. Members raise their harrowing cases of serious road traffic incidents at Justice questions. In addition to the increase from 14 years to life for the offences I referred to, in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, we are also creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. In Government amendments, we will increase from two years to five years the minimum period of disqualification from driving for offenders convicted of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs. That sends a strong signal that we want to put victims first, which is why we are bringing forward those changes.