Brake has congratulated the Government on delivering tougher sentences for disqualified drivers as part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act, which comes into force today (Monday, April 13).
The new rules mean anyone convicted of causing death by driving while disqualified will face a maximum of 10 years in prison, up from only two years previously.
Drivers convicted of the new offence of causing serious injury by driving while disqualified will face up to four years in prison.
A wider review of all driving offences and charges by the Ministry of Justice is ongoing.
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This is an important day for everybody involved in campaigning for better justice for victims of criminal driving.
“Getting behind the wheel when a court has already found you to be a danger on the road, and has disqualified you from doing so, is one of the most selfish decision you can make as a driver.
“It is entirely right that maximum sentences are being increased, and we hope that judges will make use of them where appropriate.
“This is a good first step to securing better justice for victims and families, many of whom have been left feeling betrayed by inappropriate charges and paltry sentences.”
The road safety charity says that there are a number of other urgent issues with how the justice system handles cases of criminal driving, and it will be pressuring whoever forms the next Government to follow the current Ministry of Justice review through to a satisfactory conclusion.