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Brake calls for tougher penalties for “killer” drivers

Latest government figures show only six in ten people (62%) convicted of killing someone through risky driving are jailed, and only 9% are sentenced to five years or more in prison.

Brake is calling for bold action to ensure drivers who inflict terrible suffering are brought to justice:

Revised charges for causing death and serious injury, so drivers who kill and cause serious injuries are not let off on lesser ‘careless' driving charges, which carry low penalties;

Much stiffer penalties for hit and run and disqualified killer drivers;

Stronger sentencing guidelines for judges so maximum sentences are handed out in the most serious cases. 

Responding to constituency demand, various MPs from across the political parties have been speaking out for justice in Parliament, including at a debate in January.

The Ministry of Justice is currently considering whether to make changes to charges and penalties for serious driving offences. Following this, the Sentencing Council will review its guidelines to judges.

A report out today by Brake and Direct Line reveals overwhelming public support for the campaign, including four in five (82%) think sentences should be higher for drivers who kill. The majority think drivers who kill while they were drink or drug driving (85%), speeding (66%) or on their phone (64%) should get five years or more in prison..

Brake is urging members of the public to write to their MP in support of its Crackdown campaign.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: ‘Our justice system should make clear that risky, illegal behaviour on roads is no accident: it's selfish, destructive, and unacceptable. Our report shows huge public support for this campaign, and in Parliament MPs are mobilising for action across the political parties. We're calling for the Government to listen to the bereaved families courageously speaking up on this issue, and seize the opportunity to fix this long-running issue.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.