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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Drivers warned common bad driving habit could now get them LIFE in prison

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DRIVERS are being warned that new laws could mean a life sentence for a common bad driving habit.

The new laws introduced as part of the Police, Crime and Sentencing Courts Bill are in force from tomorrow.

Causing death by careless driving now carries a potential life sentence


Causing death by careless driving now carries a potential life sentenceCredit: Alamy

Those who cause death by speeding, drink or drug driving or bad habits like using a mobile phone will face the maximum term in the new laws.

A new offence has been created called ‘causing serious injury by careless driving’ which carries a sentence of up to two years in prison.

It is hoped this will close the loophole that allows those who cause permanent disability to a victim through careless driving to avoid prosecution.

In addition, the existing ‘death by careless driving’ now carries a potential sentence of life imprisonment.

Jessica Maguire at criminal law firm Corker Binning said: “A longstanding and conspicuous void in the Road Traffic Act 1988 has been filled.

“If a Prosecutor was not able to meet the exceptionally high evidential threshold for dangerousness, a driver who had caused serious injury to another would face a summary-only offence, punishable by disqualification and an unlimited fine.

“Many saw this as a problematic loophole.”

“The threshold for proving an individual’s driving fell below ordinary standards (rather than “far” below) has always been much easier to meet.”

Maguire said the new laws “will inevitably lead to a greater number of prosecutions for lapses in concentration behind the wheel which result in accidents and serious injuries.

“(It’s) a clear commitment by the government to increase driving standards and to punish those who do not give their full attention to the road.”

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RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “People have been crystal clear that they support tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.

“While it’s frustrating it’s taken so long for the law change to take effect – five years in total – we hope a powerful message is now sent to anyone who drives recklessly that there’s a very real chance they will end up behind bars for life.”

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