Drive for Justice: Killer drivers could receive life sentences under new rules launching this week

Killer drivers will face up to life in prison under new sentencing rules coming into force this week.

Sunday, 26th June 2022, 11:41 am

Judges will be able to hand down life sentences to dangerous drivers who kill, and careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs.

The new sentencing regime far exceeds the previous maximum penalty of 14 years.

Late in 2016, National World Publishing newspapers across the country – including the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail – launched a nationwide Drive for Justice campaign, which revealed the scandal of lenient sentences handed down to drivers who kill.

Titles across National World launched a Drive for Justice campaign in 2017.

At that time, the investigation showed not a single person had been handed the maximum 14-year sentence for death by dangerous driving since Parliament previously lengthened the sentence from 10 years in 2004.

As well as calling for tougher sentences, the campaign sought to give families affected by the anguish of road deaths as a result of reckless and criminal driving a voice to bring about change.

Now, this latest change in the law will come into effect on Tuesday, June 28 as a result of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act.

Judges will be able to hand down life sentences to dangerous drivers who kill and careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

The reforms will also create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, meaning those who inflict long-term or permanent injuries also face tougher sentences.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab said in a statement: “Too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families.

“We have changed the law so that those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars.”