Maximum sentence for death drivers rises to 14 years

The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving will increase from 10 to 14 years, Home Secretary David Blunkett has announced today.

The increase will target drivers who kill, be it through driving dangerously, driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs or joyriding.

Drivers whose bad driving causes a death on the road can also be charged with the offence of manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said: "Dangerous drivers who kill should be properly punished. The devastation they can cause is immeasurable, not only for victims' families, but for whole communities.

"This increase sends out a very strong signal about how seriously the government regards the crime. I hope that people take heed and that we lose fewer lives on the roads as a result."

A review of offences for bad driving is also currently underway, which will look at making proposals for changes to the law on serious driving offences, particularly where death or injury results.

Road Safety Minister David Jamieson said: "A very small minority of drivers commit this most serious offence, and bring misery to the families of those people killed in road accidents, as well as causing danger and major inconvenience to the vast majority of law-abiding motorists."

The provision in section 285 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 increases the maximum penalties for: causing death by dangerous driving (from a maximum of 10 to 14 years), causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs (from 10 to 14 years), aggravated vehicle taking where, owing to the driving of the vehicle, a death results (from 5 to 14 years).


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