Drivers who kill have been sentenced to an average of just four years in prison with dozens escaping jail altogether, an investigation has revealed.
Not a single person has been handed the maximum 14-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving since Parliament lengthened the sentence from 10 years in 2004.
Figures show that between 2006 and 2015, 111 people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving walked free from court. Seventy-nine were given suspended sentences, with 14 given community service, 10 people dealt with through a fine and two given a conditional discharge.
Three got an absolute discharge and three others were dealt with by other means.
The average sentence given in that time to those who were jailed is four years and one month.
Many other motorists who kill on the roads are prosecuted under the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving which bereaved families view as an insult.
Today, this newspaper launches our Drive For Justice campaign to call for changes in the law to make sentencing fit the crime for those who kill or seriously injure people on our roads.
Around five people are killed on the roads each day and families who lose a loved one in such a sudden and violent way describe their loss as feeling “like they have been murdered.”
However, the vast majority feel they do not get justice from the legal system in the UK.
The Drive For Justice campaign aims to give these families a voice and we are lobbying the Government to re-work guidelines so judges can use the powers that exist as well as tackling loopholes and imposing tougher sentences for the worst offenders.
You can sign our Change.org petition here and share it using #DriveForJusticeCampaign
What we are lobbying for?
Drive For Justice is seeking to give families affected by the anguish of road deaths as a result of reckless and criminal driving a voice to bring about change and better justice.
Our campaign aims to:
* Call on the Government to re-work sentencing guidelines and give judges specialist training so they can use the full powers that are available to them when deciding sentences for offenders
* To have tougher sentences for the worst offenders
* Have all culpable deaths treated as manslaughter
* See more driving bans and longer driving bans handed out to those who kill or seriously injure on the roads or risk injury and death
* Close the loopholes that exist such as with hit and runs where failure to stop carries a maximum of six months in prison while drink driving penalties are tougher meaning those who have been drink driving can get a lesser sentence if they flee the scene
* Look at the charges of Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving. Bereaved families feel “careless” undermines the severity of the offence when someone is killed or seriously injured by illegal and risky behaviour.