Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has today announced a new criminal offence will be introduced to help to provide justice to seriously injured victims of dangerous drivers.
Currently, there is no charge that specifically recognises the causing of serious injury while driving, so drivers who inflict seriously injure through reckless and irresponsible behaviour may only be charged with 'dangerous driving', which carries a maximum of two years in jail, or 'careless driving', which carries a maximum penalty of a fine and disqualification.
Under the new law, drivers can be charged with 'causing serious injury by dangerous driving' and face up to five years in prison and an unlimited fine.
Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer, said: "Brake welcomes this new offence, which will help provide justice to families whose lives have been ripped apart by dangerous drivers. As a charity that supports bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims, we hear first-hand about the pain and suffering they experience, and repeatedly see these families being grossly let down by the justice system, which only adds to their trauma.
"This finally means that serious injury is recognised in the name of an offence, and this is vitally important to victims and their families. It also means dangerous drivers who inflict serious injury can expect to see higher sentences that are more in line with the devastation they have caused, which in some cases includes permanently debilitating injuries that leave people with round the clock care needs.
"We hope to see courts using the full range of sentences available for this and other serious driving offences, up to the maximum. We also hope that in future the maximum sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving will increase to 14 years, in line with causing death by dangerous driving, so the punishment better reflects the gravitas of the crime and the appalling suffering inflicted on families."
Posted October 7th, 2011 at 1015 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: email@example.com