Killer drivers 'to face tougher sentences'


Tougher penalties for reckless drivers who kill and maim people are expected to be announced in the Queen's Speech, a Liberal Democrat MP has said.

Greg Mullholland, who has campaigned for changes to the law, said sentences for those who kill or injure as a result of reckless driving now looked set to be increased in line with those given to murderers.

The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years, but the average sentence served by those convicted is just four years.

Mr Mullholland said sentences for drivers who kill people, including drunk drivers, often did not reflect the seriousness of the crime.

The Leeds North West MP said: "I welcome reports that ministers are set to announce tougher penalties for criminal drivers.

"For too long victims have not had the justice they deserve and families have seen the killers of their loved ones let out of prison too soon.

"It cannot be right that while the sentence for homicide is life in prison, the average sentence for a criminal driver who kills someone is just four years."

Earlier this year Mr Mullholland introduced the Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill in the House of Commons, proposing a range of changes with regards to sentencing, investigations and victim support.

"While we will continue to call for all of the changes in the Criminal Driving Bill, the measures reported to be announced in the Queen's Speech mark a huge campaign success for us and will be a major step forward in helping us deliver justice for victims of criminal driving and their families," he said.

The Queen's speech on Wednesday will also be used to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British bill of rights, it is reported.

It has already drawn some criticism from lawyers who fear Northern Ireland's Good Friday Agreement could be put at risk.

The Government will also announce measures to overhaul the care and adoption system in a bid to improve the chances of children in social care in England while plans to encourage schools to become academies, watered-down following a Tory backlash, are also due to feature.