Fleet News

Government looks to tighten dangerous driving laws

THE Government is considering changing the law to make it easier to prosecute motorists for driving dangerously.

The Department for transport, Local Government and the Regions has published a report, with research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory, which found that the changes in the Road Traffic Act 1991 'has not led to an increase in convictions for serious driving offences, even though they were intended to be easier to prove'.

It suggests that an offence should be created between Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving to help the situation.

The three year project, carried out by TRL looked at the practice of charging, prosecution and conviction of bad driving offences and how the offences of Dangerous Driving and Causing Death by Dangerous Driving have worked since their introduction in 1991.

Transport minister David Jamieson said: 'This is a comprehensive piece of work dealing with a difficult and sometime controversial area of the law.

It provides much food for thought and we will be considering the report's conclusions and recommendations very carefully with other departments.'

The report found that the offences of Dangerous Driving and Causing Death by Dangerous Driving have not led to a rise in convictions for serious driving offences.

It recommended that there should be a creation of an intermediate offence not amounting to Dangerous Driving but significantly more serious than Careless Driving, and has more severe penalties, including imprisonment.

Causing Death by Dangerous Driving and the intermediate offence should also apply to cases with serious injury as well, to recognise the impact of serious and permanent injury on victims and the distress caused to their families.

The report did not find grounds for the introduction of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving although it should be considered for the intermediate offence.

It suggests that the relationship between speed and dangerous driving should be highlighted by prosecution for Dangerous Driving for speeding by a significant margin.

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