British ministers reveal plans to raise upper sentence limit if a driver kills when behind the wheel

Dangerous drivers who kill could be given a life sentence in prison if plans proposed by British ministers are approved.

The new laws would grant judges the power to sentence drivers who kill through speeding, street racing or using a mobile phone behind the wheel to life, ranking their offences as highly as manslaughter.

Drivers convicted of killing while driving under the influence of drink or drugs could also be handed life sentences, removing the current cap of a 14-year sentence for these crimes.

“Killer drivers ruin lives,” said justice minister Sam Gyimah. “Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses. While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime.”

Under new laws, drivers who cause serious injury by dangerous driving could also face up to three years' imprisonment.

A following statement from the Government emphasised the need to close a ‘gap in the law’ that allowed dangerous drivers to escape with lighter sentences.

Last year, 122 people in Britain were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 21 convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence.

The Department for Transport will enforce laws that could hand drivers with a ban if they’re caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

Our Verdict

Seventh generation Vauxhall Astra review hero front

The British-built Vauxhall Astra reaches its seventh generation, but faces strong competition from recently-updated hatchbacks like the Ford Focus

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi S7 TDI 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Latest warmed five-door fastback ditches petrol for Audi’s surprisingly...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Audi’s high performance soft-road middleweight adopts new sporty V6 diesel...
  • Audi S6 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Audi chooses a 48-volt-assisted TDI V6 for its latest performance exec,...

Join the debate

Comments
1

6 December 2016
Well,it's proving it,it's down to the Officers reports,they could be wrong sometimes,only work if we all had dash Cams maybe.

Peter Cavellini.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi S7 TDI 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Latest warmed five-door fastback ditches petrol for Audi’s surprisingly...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Audi’s high performance soft-road middleweight adopts new sporty V6 diesel...
  • Audi S6 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    Audi chooses a 48-volt-assisted TDI V6 for its latest performance exec,...