The Ministry of Justice announced on 6 May 2014 that drivers who cause death or serious injuries on the roads when they have been banned from driving will face long jail sentences.
The current maximum sentence faced by a driver who causes death while driving when disqualified is two years imprisonment and there is no specific offence of causing serious injury by driving while disqualified. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed that the law will be changed so that disqualified drivers will now face up to ten years’ imprisonment if they cause death and up to four years’ imprisonment if they cause serious injuries.
The Justice Secretary also announced his intention to launch a full review of all driving offences and penalties which will include reviewing offences committed by uninsured and unlicensed drivers. The Government plans to change the law shortly to introduce the new sentences which are expected to be implemented in early 2015.
Charlene McAuliffe, case manager at Penningtons Manches LLP, said: “We are pleased to see that the Government is taking steps to review the penalties applied to these offences. Worryingly, we are seeing an increasing number of drivers who drive while uninsured and/or disqualified and it is clear that more needs to be done to provide effective deterrents.
“The reckless actions of these drivers have devastating effects on victims and their families and the sentences applied should reflect this. There have long been concerns about the levels of sentencing and we hope that this review will ensure that people who endanger lives and public safety are properly punished.”