Prime Minister hints at changes to dangerous driving laws
According to Auto Express, the Prime Minister has hinted that the Justice department could soon be bringing in new, harsher penalties for dangerous drivers.
It has been suggested that the Justice department were looking to change dangerous driving laws as a result of concerns that existing penalties were too lenient.
When discussing the concerns that the current penalties were not tough enough for dangerous drivers who had caused fatal accidents, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “I’m aware of the concern there is about the law in relation to dangerous driving.
“I’ve had a particular case about the daughter of some of my constituents who was killed as a result of dangerous driving.
“This is a matter that I believe the Justice department is looking at,” the Prime Minister added.
Under current laws, the minimum prison sentence for someone who has caused death by dangerous driving is one year, with an obligatory two-year driving ban.
However, there have been numerous reports in recent months of fatal accidents occurring as a result of dangerous driving, and it is believed that these could have potentially been avoided had there been tougher penalties in place.
Earlier this month, a cyclist was killed by a distracted driver who was found to be texting whilst at the wheel, Auto Express reports.
Despite having eight previous convictions, the driver in question had avoided a ban as he convinced the courts that it would cause him “exceptional hardship.”
A recent discovery revealed that, in the last year, the number of drivers escaping a driving ban despite having 12 or more penalty points on their licence had increase by a quarter, with the figure for drivers with 12 or more penalty points but that remain on the roads now standing at 8,600.
If a driver gets 12 points in the duration of a three-year period, current law dictates that they must attend court and face a minimum ban of six months.
However, former attorney general, Dominic Grieve, disagrees with implementing tougher penalties, having previously said: “The reality is that the offence of causing death by dangerous driving is now effectively the principle tool for prosecuting people who do the very things, including texting or appalling behaviour, behind the wheel and provide adequate punishment.”
In 2015, there were 1,732 reported deaths on roads in the UK, with an additional 22,137 motorists seriously injured.
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