New UK laws could mean drivers who cause death by dangerous driving will face the same sentence as manslaughter.
Those who cause death by dangerous driving could face a life sentence under new rulings being proposed in the UK according to the BBC. This would mean that drivers who cause death by speeding, street racing or while using a mobile phone will face the same sentences as people who commit manslaughter. Life sentences are also being considered for those who cause death by careless driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – currently, the maximum sentence a court can impose is 14 years.
However, in 2015 the average sentence in the UK for causing death by careless or dangerous driving was just under four years. 122 people were sentenced that year for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 21 convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence. "Killer drivers ruin lives," said justice minister Sam Gyimah. "Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses. While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime. My message is clear - if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence."
Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, supported the "vindication" of the minister's efforts, but feels that a separate offence for careless driving should be scrapped. "Some of the strongest feedback we have received from the families we work with is that there is nothing careless about taking someone else's life," he said. New laws are also being proposed, including a three-year sentence for causing serious injury by careless driving and increasing the minimum driving bans for those convicted of causing death. Do you think a life sentence is a fitting punishment for causing death by dangerous driving?