Government Announces Tough New Penalties For Disqualified Drivers
The Government has confirmed that disqualified drivers that kill/seriously injure will soon face tougher penalties. Those that kill will, therefore, face up to ten years imprisonment – rather than the current two years – and those that seriously injure will face up to four years behind bars. As of now, there is no specific offence of causing serious injury while disqualified. These tougher measures are – according to the government “designed to reflect the devastating impact on victims and their families”. The changes are expected to be implemented in early 2015. Furthermore, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has revealed there will be a review of driving offences and penalties “to ensure people who endanger lives and public safety are properly punished.” This will include any offences committed by uninsured and unlicensed drivers.
Justice Secretary Discusses New Penalties
The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “I want to make our roads safer and ensure people who cause harm face tough penalties. Disqualified drivers should not be on our roads for good reason. Those who chose to defy a ban imposed by a court and go on to destroy innocent lives must face serious consequences.” Mr Grayling added: “Today, we are sending a clear message that anyone who does will face much tougher punishment.”
Safety Charity Welcomes Tougher Penalties And Government Review
Road Safety Charity Brake – that “exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads” – reacted positively to the tougher penalties and wider review. Its Deputy Chief Executive, Julie Townsend, said: "Brake has long campaigned for a shake-up of charges and penalties for risky and irresponsible drivers who kill and injure on our roads.” She added: “Brake supports families who have been deeply and permanently affected by selfish and risky behaviour at the wheel and we frequently hear from these families that they feel terribly let down by our justice system. As such, we strongly welcome Chris Grayling's announcement of a thorough review this year. The paltry sentences handed out for deaths and injuries caused by disqualified drivers - who have no right to be on the road in the first place - are one of the worst injustices in the current system and Brake strongly welcomes the government's move to address this. Getting behind the wheel when you have been banned from driving is a deliberate and illegal choice and to often leads to devastating tragedies. The penalties must reflect this."