Road safety charity Brake has welcomed the government’s announcement of the introduction of new tougher penalties for individuals who cause death or injuries who are unlicenced drivers.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling has outlined plans to introduce longer sentences for individuals involved in serious accidents while driving without a licence, including new maximum prison sentences of up to ten years.
The current maximum custodial sentence stands at two years for anyone who kills while driving without a licence, while there is no specific punishment at present for causing serious injury while unlicensed.
As a result, the government is keen to see changes to legislation to strengthen its stance on road safety, with the new proposals predicted to come into force from early 2015.
Responding to the news regarding unlicensed drivers, deputy chief executive at Brake Julie Townsend commented: “Brake supports families who have been deeply and permanently affected by selfish and risky behaviour at the wheel and we frequently hear from these families that they feel terribly let down by our justice system.
“As such, we strongly welcome Chris Grayling’s announcement of a thorough review this year.”
She added the sentences currently being handed to individuals who cause untold damage through their thoughtless actions of driving while being disqualified or without having achieved the proper standard to attain a licence are “paltry” and it is therefore a positive development to see this issue being addressed in such a forthright manner.
It follows the launch the of the organisation’s Crackdown campaign, which specifically targets an increased awareness regarding the issue of unlicensed drivers on the UK’s roads.
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, approximately 8,200 people were convicted of driving while disqualified during 2012.
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