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Proposed new motoring laws could mean life sentences

Proposed new laws announced by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) mean drivers who cause death while using their mobile phone at the wheel could face life sentences.

The Justice Secretary Robert Buckland is proposing that maximum jail terms should be increased from 14 years to life for drivers who cause death by dangerous driving after concern that offenders had escaped with “soft” sentences. Mr Buckland said, “This Government has been clear that punishments must fit the crime, but too often families tell us this isn’t the case with killer drivers. So, today I am announcing that we will bring forward legislation early next year to introduce life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill on our roads, and ensure they feel the full force of the law.”

In 2019 some 174 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving with a further 19 convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs. Of these more than 30 involved deaths caused by a driver who was using a mobile phone at the wheel.

In one 2020 case a schoolboy and a mother-of-two were killed in a motorway collision where the killer was fond to have used his mobile phone whilst driving his HGV. He was jailed for 8 years and 10 months however courtesy of the current automatic early release rules the 33-year old driver will be freed in four years. I

A government consultation found 90 per cent of people backed a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving and Seventy per cent backed a life sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.

The new law is predicted to be known as “Violet-Grace’s law,” following the death of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens at the hands of a speeding driver in a stolen car.


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