Government Ministers have confirmed that dangerous drivers who cause death while using their mobile phones or speeding will face life imprisonment. Death by dangerous driving is a serious offence.
The current sentencing guidelines for death by dangerous driving carry a maximum term of 5 years’ imprisonment increasing to 14 years’ imprisonment if the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Government’s proposal will mean that drivers convicted of this offence are likely to face the same length of sentence as those convicted of manslaughter.
In 2016, 157 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving and 32 people were convicted of causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
A public consultation was held which generated 9,000 responses. 70% of those responses supported the proposal for a life term sentence.
In addition, a new offence of causing serious injury though careless driving will be introduced. Currently, the law does not reflect the seriousness of some injuries suffered by victims, caused by careless driving.
Does taking out your phone, whilst driving, without no intention to cause death, justify the maximum sentence?