Unanimous support for new driving law
94% of drivers support the planned new driving offence of causing ‘serious injury by dangerous driving’
A recent poll carried out by the IAM (institute of advanced motorists) reveals that 94% of drivers support the planned new driving offence of causing ‘serious injury by dangerous driving’.
Currently when someone drives recklessly and causes very serious injury as a result, they are often charged with dangerous driving. While this is a serious crime with a heavy penalty, it doesn’t take into account the severity of the outcome. This new law would reflect driver recklessness that causes life changing injuries, with even tougher penalties attached.
In the survey when asked whether sentences should be based on the offence itself, or the outcome of that offence, for example causing a life-changing injury, the figures were close. While 53% thought the sentence should be based on the offence itself, 44 % thought sentences should be based on the outcome. When asked what the biggest deterrents to bad driving were, 70% said ‘enforcement; ‘the likelihood I will get caught’, almost half of respondents (48 %) said ‘the consequences; ‘causing death or injury to myself or others’, and 43% said ‘the severity of the punishment if I am caught’.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said “people want to see tougher penalties to deal with situations where the victim of a road accident is seriously injured, but the Government needs to ensure that punishments for dangerous driving accurately reflect the severity of the offences committed. It may seem shocking that enforcement is a greater deterrent to poor driving than the risk of causing death of injury, but just as seeing police on the beat reduces crime, highly visible traffic cops reduce bad driving. Therefore any change in law needs to be supported by well resourced enforcement on our roads.”
Comment on the planned new driving offence below.