Killer drivers to serve bans outside of prison

Updated: 
prisoner hands leaning on his...
Shutterstock / Steve Snowden

Motorists jailed for serious motoring offences will no longer be able to serve driving bans while in prison, under new laws to be implemented by the Government.

Victims minister Mike Penning unveiled the plans, after stating that he found it "completely perverse" that offenders could serve driving bans while locked up behind bars, reports prisons.org.uk.

In a Westminster debate, Mr Penning said: "I find it completely perverse that while, and I use the word in brackets, a 'gentleman' is serving his sentence, the driving ban that he was given in court runs while he's actually in prison.

"I've never understood that piece of legislation... and we will stop that so that it starts actually when they come out."

The debate was opened by Conservative MP Alok Sharma, who called for increased penalties for drivers who cause death through dangerous driving – specifically a maximum 14-year prison sentence for each person killed.

The call for this change in the law comes out of public reaction to perceived leniency towards those found guilty of causing death on the roads. Mr Sharma also proposed that sentences for multiple deaths should run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Addressing Parliament, Mr Sharma said: "The reality is the punishment when it comes to dangerous driving must fit the crime and it's high time we had a change in the law."

However, concerns have been raised, particularly over the planned changes to how prisoners serve driving bans, with some saying the changes would amount to double punishment.

Mark Leech, editor of national prisons newspaper Converse and prisons.org.uk, said: "If you want to rehabilitate people when you send them to prison, so they can work once they get out having paid their debt to society, then this double punishment is just ludicrous.

"Either ban someone or send them to jail but to do both, and make them consecutive, is yet more pre-election hijacking of our criminal justice system."

Do you think prisoners should be able to serve driving bans while locked up? Have your say in the comments section below.