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Majority of fleets back tougher sentences for banned drivers

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Almost all (96%) of fleet operators are in favour of a change in the law which would see tougher prison sentences for disqualified drivers who cause death or serious injuries.

Justice minister Chris Grayling announced plans to change the law earlier this month.

Under the new law, drivers who cause death while disqualified will face up to 10 years in jail. Banned drivers who cause serious injuries will face up to four years’ imprisonment.

The current maximum sentence for causing death while driving when disqualified is up to two years’ imprisonment. There is no specific offence of causing serious injury by driving while disqualified.

A week-long poll by TrackCompare.co.uk shows that the vast majority of fleet operators back the Government's proposals.

Kjell Anderton, a TrackCompare director, said: “We thought most fleet operators would back the proposals, but the figure of almost 100 per cent was completely unexpected.

“It just goes to show that professional drivers are as keen to support road safety as the rest of the population.

“People felt strongly about this issue and left a range of comments. Although one told us two years was fair, most said they backed the tougher sentences.

“Their messages ranged from ‘lock them up!’ and ‘ten years isn’t enough, way too lenient’ to ‘it will help reduce deaths, definitely’ and ‘we should be tougher on those caught driving whilst disqualified before they kill’.”

The Government took the decision to change the law after listening to the concerns of victims’ families. It intends to implement the changes early next year.

Grayling’s aim is to ensure drivers who cause harm face tough penalties. He plans to launch a full review of all driving offences and penalties: harm caused by unlicensed and uninsured drivers will be among them.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, has asked Grayling to make it a presumption that licences will be suspended as a condition of bail for people charged with killing as a result of criminal driving.

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  • Roberts - 19/05/2014 14:05

    you could have 100% of fleet operators agreeing to this and it wouldnt make a jot of difference as the accused would go the European court of human rights get the sentence overturned, sue for damages which would then get paid by our spineless governments which is why it wont happen. Nice thought though

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