Tougher sentences for motorists who cause death by dangerous driving
Motorists who cause fatalities by driving dangerously could be issued life sentences as part of powerful new legislation set to come into force next year.
Under these new dangerous driving sentencing guidelines, UK drivers who get behind the wheel and kill by speeding, racing or using their mobile phones will face a life term behind bars for the first time.
These legislations will also see those who cause fatal car accidents through dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs face a lifetime jail sentence.
Road safety charity Brake has welcomed the Government move, which will make motorists think twice about using their phone behind the wheel or drinking before driving.
Scott Whyte, Managing Director at Watermans Solicitors, said: “Our team of personal injury lawyers are experts in dealing with serious and fatal injury claims caused by motorists and understand fully the devastating consequences that dangerous drivers can impose on innocent families.
“Ultimately we want to see dangerous drivers taken off Scottish roads to prevent future tragedies. We believe perpetrators should be held fully accountable for their actions.
“Families who lose a loved one in a fatal road traffic accident are left living life sentences themselves. For them, no matter how we assist them in achieving justice in terms of compensation, their lives will never be the same.
“By imposing a life sentence on dangerous drivers, this will hopefully deter motorists from making reckless decisions which could severely injure or kill another person.
“We hope that the courts will use the full extent of sentencing powers for this type of crime as they tend to be more lenient on dangerous drivers.”
At present, drivers who cause serious injuries or death under these circumstances can only be convicted of careless driving, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said the change should be a first step in reforming Britain’s “flawed” legal framework.
He added: “Crash victims have waited three long years for this announcement. Road crime is real crime and it is high time that the Government, and the law, recognised this.
“Years of government inaction have added to the suffering of road victims who have not been delivered the justice they, and their loved ones, deserve.
“The Government must now implement these tougher sentences as first priority, delivering on their overdue promise to road crash victims, and then urgently initiate a review of the flawed legal framework for road justice.
“Driving is a privilege not a right, and yet our flawed legal system continues to allow convicted dangerous drivers on the roads where they can endanger others. We all want safer roads, but we will only achieve this if the law treats road crime with the seriousness it deserves.”
Have you or a loved one been a victim of dangerous driving?
Fatal compensation claims are not limited to car accidents. They also apply to accidents involving any road users whether it’s a cyclist, pedestrian or someone in any other motor vehicle. You are entitled to claim compensation if the person who caused the accident was proven to be negligent.
Whenever you feel ready to start a compensation claim, we are there to deal with everything on your behalf.