Campaigners hope new Government crackdown on dangerous drivers will help towards reducing deaths on A590

Councillors and campaigners working to reduce deaths on the A590 have welcomed new Government plans to get tough on dangerous drivers, who face increased penalties.

This week the Government announced a consultation looking at penalties for driving offences, specifically ones which have resulted in deaths or serious injury.

The consultation includes plans to increase the penalties for drivers causing death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone, to the same level as those charged with manslaughter.

Councillor James Airey, Leader of the Conservatives at Cumbria County Council, said, “We urgently need improvements to the A590. There are still far too many deaths on this key arterial road across the south of the county. But we should remember that the very worst accidents are all too often caused by speeding and dangerous driving and we fully welcome the Government’s consideration of increased penalties for dangerous drivers.”

The consultation will seek views on whether the current maximum penalties available to the courts should be increased. Proposals include:

  • increasing the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life
  • increasing the maximum sentence for causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years to life
  • creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a maximum sentence of 3 years
  • increasing minimum driving bans for those convicted of causing death

Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said: “Killer drivers ruin lives. Their actions cause immeasurable pain to families, who must endure tragic, unnecessary losses. While impossible to compensate for the death of a loved one, we are determined to make sure the punishment fits the crime. My message is clear – if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.”