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Wokingham calls for tougher laws to tackle criminal driving

January 21, 2016 9:15 PM
By Wokingham Liberal Democrats

Clive Jones Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesperson for Wokingham calls for tougher laws to tackle criminal driving

Tougher penalties for dangerous drivers aimed at reducing deaths on Wokingham's roads are being championed in parliament.

Clive Jones has joined forces with long term safer roads campaigner Greg Mulholland MP for Leeds North West to introduce a bill to strengthen penalties for drivers who injure, or kill, people.

Last year 389 people were killed because of dangerous driving. Campaigners argue that sentences are too light and do not reflect the severity of offences.

On 12th January Greg Mulholland proposed a range of measures including;
increase the length of sentences,
redefine criminal driving,
amend bail conditions,
enhance investigation standards by both the police and in courts,
improve the treatment of victims and their families.

Clive Jones, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman for Wokingham said:

"Victims of criminal driving and their families must always have confidence that our legal system will deliver justice, but time and again they feel let down.
I support the bill and hope we can finally begin to deliver the proper justice that campaigners have long called for."

Greg Mulholland MP said:

"As a long term campaigner for safer roads I proposed the Criminal Driving Bill to support families whose lives have been affected by a reckless driver and who
feel let down by our legal system. We will continue the campaign for tougher laws until proper justice is delivered."

Alice Bailey, Campaigns and Communications Officer at road safety charity Brake, also added:

"Brake is very pleased to see Clive Jones helping to lead the Criminal Driving Bill and fight for victims of criminal driving and their families. We have long
believed that our legal system gives them a raw deal and that's why it is vital Parliament brings forward some much needed changes."


Key points of the Bill
Redefine criminal driving
Replace the charges of Careless Driving and Dangerous Driving with a single charge
Scrap the charge of causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving
Increase the maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving from 2 years to 5 years
Scrap the charge of Causing Death by Careless Driving under the influence of drink or drugs
Increase the maximum sentence for Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving from 5 years to 14 years
Increase the maximum sentence for failing to stop following a fatal or serious injury crash - to bring in much stiffer penalties for hit and run drivers
Increase the maximum sentence for Causing Death by and Causing Serious Injuries by Driving Unlicensed, Disqualified or Uninsured from 2 years to 14 years
Tougher sentencing within the range of sentences available
Tougher sentences for those driving while disqualified
Making driving licence suspension an automatic condition of bail in cases of dangerous and careless drivers who have seriously injured or killed
Victims in cases where charges of criminal driving are brought must be treated as victims of crime until the contrary is proven
Appropriate investigation of collisions
Proper implementation of the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice (APP) on investigating road deaths and more rigorous training based on it.
Implementing the recommendations of the 2002 report by the CPS Inspectorate
Government should introduce national standards requiring judges and magistrates to receive appropriate training and advice on traffic offences, including
discussion of case studies, to encourage them to implement appropriately tough charges and penalties
An independent and transparent assessment of offender's punishment
Release evidence to victims and their families
Change the rules on how an offender "shows remorse" in a way that can lead to sentence reduction
The Department for Transport should stop describing incidents of criminal driving as "accidents"
Police forces should be obliged to implement recommendations of the IPCC