Life sentences for drivers who kill

Life sentences for drivers who kill

If you follow the news then I’m sure you’ve seen the hugely important change that’s been made to the dangerous driving laws?

If not, let me fill you in…

Ministers have agreed that drivers who cause death as a result of driving while using a mobile, or driving dangerously will now face life in prison.

Pretty big deal, right?

Here’s the original article

And it doesn’t end there. If you cause death as a result of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, you’ll get a life sentence for that too.

The change has been implemented as a result of campaigning by MPs, in particular, Heidi Allen of South Cambridgeshire, and 9,000 submissions that have supported the proposal.

It’s made me think for sure.

Some people think that the measure is too harsh, in that it effectively places the crime higher than manslaughter, but others have made the point that unless something is done to highlight the seriousness of dangerous driving, it’ll just continue.

What do you think? Would love to know, so leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “Life sentences for drivers who kill

  1. It’s exactly the right sort of punishment.

    Not only is this Gross Negligence, but the driver is also knowingly breaking the law (by drink driving or using their phone at the wheel).

    Given this knowledge that the driver already has (and has had for years now), a life sentence seems entirely appropriate.

    • Driving Monitor

      Well put Darren, although most drivers don’t recognise texting whilst driving is more dangerous than drunk-driving!

  2. I think you’d also need to consider the difference between ‘Voluntary Manslaughter’ and ‘Involuntary Manslaughter’.

    Perhaps causing death as a result of driving while using a mobile, or driving dangerously should be considered as ‘Gross Negligence Manslaughter’, which is a type of ‘Involuntary Manslaughter’.

    I’m not sure if the legal definition of this type of manslaughter would fit, but the name certainly seems applicable. This offence carries up to 18 years. The average life prisoner serves around 15 years before being paroled. Food for thought!

  3. Something has to be done as I still see so many people on their mobiles while driving. Drivers need the threat of a severe punishment to start taking this issue seriously. If you don’t do it then the sentence won’t affect you – so I’m in agreement with the new sentence.

    • Driving Monitor

      Deborah, I’d agree – it’s really only the people who drive dangerously this affects. Although those who use mobiles are more likely to have an accident that drunk drivers – so it’s raising awareness as well of how distracted driving is also going to be part of this.

  4. Putting 2 tonnes of metal in the hands of a young sales rep and letting them take it to 80mph down a motorway is kind of like loading a weapon. I think companies should be paying more attention to their drivers to at least give some basic assessment or training, when the risks of taking life can be so great. Until driverless vehicles are 100% in place we still need to consider the human element of what dangerous driving (even using a mobile) can do and the impact of families in tragic fatality cases.

    • Mike, I suppose we expect drivers to be automatically safe as they have a driving licence, but we wouldn’t give a young apprentice access to a huge guillotine in a manufacturing environment without some form of training or basic checks – so I agree with you, a car can be like a loaded gun if the driver isn’t focussed on the road.

  5. It’s a difficult one, but I do feel like it makes people more aware of the potential ramifications of their behaviour.

    Not sure about life sentence though…

    I’m torn!

    • Seb I’d agree it’s a tough one – but with so many lives being lost at least the government is doing something to address the issue 😉