South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
News
28 Jun 2022
DANGEROUS DRIVERS FACE LIFE SENTENCE
Stricter laws under the Road Traffic Act mean that killer drivers could now face life in prison as part of a sentencing shake up.
 
From today (Tuesday 28 June), the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, will increase from 14 years to life imprisonment.
 
The changes are part of the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 which also sees an increase in disqualification periods and new offences for mechanically propelled vehicles.
 
Joanne Wehrle, manager of South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP), said: “The pain and heartbreak suffered by families who lose loved ones in a road traffic collision is just unthinkable.
 
“We hope that tougher laws around dangerous and careless driving will make people think twice about their behaviour on our roads including speeding, getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs or using their mobile phone illegally.
 
“These laws are about protecting our communities, protecting other road users and reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on South Yorkshire’s roads.
 
“One casualty is one too many – no-one should feel unsafe or vulnerable on our roads.”
 
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families. We have changed the law, so that those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars.”
 
The law in detail:
 
Section 86 increases the maximum penalty for the offences at section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 - causing death by dangerous driving, and section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 - causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs, from 14 years to life imprisonment.
 
Section 86 increases the minimum period of disqualification for offenders convicted of these offences from two to five years. For those convicted of a repeat offence of causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, the minimum period of disqualification is increased from three years to six years.
 
Section 87 creates a new offence of causing serious injury by careless, or inconsiderate, driving, inserting new section 2C to the Road Traffic Act 1988. The offence is committed if a person causes serious injury by driving a car or other mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users and the maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment.