Government Ministers have confirmed that drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone could face sentences equivalent to manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life.
Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.
The move comes after an overwhelming response to a government consultation which revealed substantial backing for the plans from a wide range of people including victims, bereaved families and road safety experts.
Local campaigners and Reading West constituents Tracey Fidler and Hayley Lindsay, who very tragically lost their partners, John Morland and Kris Jarvis, to dangerous driving have been campaigning hard for several years to get tougher sentences for those drivers causing death by dangerous driving.
John Morland and Kris Jarvis were tragically killed in Purley by a dangerous driver who was already disqualified from driving, without insurance, in a vehicle taken without consent, was more than two and a half times over the alcohol blood limit, had taken cocaine in the previous 24 hours and was driving at 70 miles per hour in a 30-zone whilst being pursued by police. John and Kris’s killer received just 10 years in prison for his crimes.
Following their partners’ tragic loss Tracey and Hayley set up a national petition, calling on the Government to introduce consecutive sentencing for each person killed by a dangerous driver and the petition received more than 100,000 signatures.
With Alok’s support Tracey and Hayley and their families met with former Prime Minister David Cameron and several Justice Ministers to put their case for changes to the law.
Alok also led Parliamentary debates about the issue which received widespread support from fellow Parliamentarians.
Alok said: “I am absolutely delighted that the government has listened to Tracey and Haley and many others who think death by dangerous driving deserves tougher penalties. In the most appalling cases, life will now mean life. Tracey and Hayley have worked selflessly to deliver this change in the law to help others and I pay tribute to them for their bravery and perseverance. It just demonstrates that determined campaigning can bring about a change in the law.”
Tracey Fidler said: “This is brilliant news and we are over the moon and so pleased the government has listened to us. Nothing will bring back John and Kris but this change will help other families and also deter drivers from breaking the law.”
Photo: Former Prime Minister David Cameron with myself, Tracey Fidler and Hayley Lindsay, the fiancées of Kris Jarvis and John Morland.