DRIVE FOR JUSTICE CAMPAIGN: Max sentence for death by dangerous driving may be increased to 20 years

Speculation is rife that the Government's long awaited review of dangerous driving offences and penalties may consider the possibility of increasing the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving from 14 years to 20 years.

Although no one has actually received the maximum of 14 years since it was extended from 10 years to 14 years in 2004, campaigners believe increasing the maximum would be a good move as it will increase sentences overall.

Duncan Dollimore, senior road safety and legal campaigner for Cycling UK who have long been campaigning for a review of motoring offences, says:

“We have been told there will be a review looking specifically at motoring offences and penalties, with a public consultation beginning before Christmas, and an intention to bring legislation before parliament in 2017.

“At the moment, the maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving is 14 years.

“The judge will never impose that. There is not a sentence that ever gets the maximum. It has to be the worst possible case.

“Judges will probably only go up to 90 per cent of the maximum. They also give a discount for an early guilty plea.

“They are talking about possibly having the maximum sentence extended to 20 years.

“This would not mean someone would get the 20 years but the sentences themselves would go up and be higher.”

Justice minister Sam Gyimah said: “Driving offences can have devastating and heart-breaking consequences for victims and their families.

“This government is determined to make sure sentencing fits the crime for those who kill or seriously injure on our roads.

“We will launch a consultation on dangerous driving offences and penalties by the end of the year.”