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New Driving offence announced

7 October 2011

A new offence of 'causing serious injury by dangerous driving' has been announced by The Justice Secretary.  It will carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and allow the courts to impose tougher punishments on dangerous drivers who devastate the lives of others.
The changes will be taken forward as part of the Government’s Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

In response to the Justice Secretary’s announcement about tougher penalties for dangerous driving.
IAM spokesperson Vince Yearley said: "Dangerous driving can result in anything from near misses to serious injuries. But the maximum jail term for dangerous driving must relate to the driving offence - not the consequences, however awful."

At present, just under 6,000 drivers are charged every year with dangerous driving.

The following figures represent the number of accidents caused last year by various types of dangerous driving activity (Department for Transport statistics):
•           18,803 accidents were caused by careless, reckless or hurried driving.
•           3,862 accidents were caused by aggressive driving.
•           Aggressive, careless, reckless or hurried driving caused at least one death a day.
•           5,858 accidents were caused by drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol, resulting in 160 deaths.
•           A significant 32,525 accidents were caused by illegal manoeuvres such as exceeding the speed limit, illegal turns, disobeying traffic signals and disobeying rules pedestrian crossings.
•           14 deaths and 139 serious accidents involved a stolen vehicle.

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