Dangerous driving law reforms planned

Dangerous driving legislation in England, Wales and Scotland may toughen up from next year.

Under the proposed laws, causing death while speeding, racing, using a phone or under the influence could result in a life sentence.

Why the government is reviewing dangerous driving laws

While causing death by dangerous driving has serious consequences, many have questioned whether the maximum sentence of 14 years in prison is enough.

Road safety campaigners, including parents who have lost children, have been instrumental in pushing for law changes.

The government will also review a proposed new law: causing injury by careless driving. This can currently only be prosecuted as careless driving, without the specifics around injury. That means the maximum penalty is a fine – not prison time.

When we might see an update to dangerous driving laws

In a public consultation in 2016, a large majority agreed with tougher legislation for death or injury caused by dangerous driving.

Sentencing reforms were proposed in 2017 and are now scheduled for debate in parliament early next year. Updates for dangerous driving are part of a larger sentencing overhaul, which will hopefully keep the issue in the spotlight.

“It’s a good sign that the government is considering phone use alongside other kinds of careless driving. It’s still far too socially acceptable to be distracted – or even incapacitated – at the wheel, so these reforms are vital.”

Richard King, Ticker founder and CEO