Parliament
A manifesto for better justice for victims of road crime will be launched in the House of Commons on March 18

Victims and campaigners invited to justice manifesto launch

In the week when the Prime Minister expressed his support for the review of driving offences and penalties, victims of road crime and road safety campaigners are being invited to the House of Commons for the launch of a manifesto for better justice.

The Government's driving offences and penalties review, announced in May 2014, is now truly under way - thanks in large measure to CTC's Road Justice campaign.

In December, CTC met with the Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning, and more recently with the Sentencing Unit at the Ministry of Justice, to discuss the review and the improvements needed to ensure justice for road crash victims and prevention of irresponsible driving.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave impetus to the review this week by expressing support for tougher penalties for dangerous drivers. Cameron wrote personally to the Justice Minister, Chris Grayling, outlining his support for a reconsideration of maximum penalties.

On Wednesday 18 March, a manifesto for better justice for victims of dangerous driving will be launched in Westminster. This calls for changes to be considered during the offences and penalties review, including: a redefinition of dangerous and careless driving to avoid dangerous driving being dismissed as less serious; interim bans for drivers arrested on suspicion of causing death or serious injury; and treatment of victims of criminal driving as victims of crime with the same entitlements as victims of other types of crime.

The launch is expected to be attended by MPs from all parties, campaigners and victims.The manifesto was compiled by the office of the Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, who has for several years supported the family of Jamie Still, who was killed by a speeding drink-driver as he crossed the road in 2010.

Mulholland held a dangerous driving summit in November 2013, which was attended by many families whose lives have been ruined by bad driving, and who have been failed by the justice system in different ways. The discussion held at the summit fed into the manifesto, and included representations from organisations such as Brake, RoadPeace and CTC.

Although the final manifesto does not correspond exactly with CTC's own proposals for changes to the justice system, its contribution to the debate about how the system needs to be changed is welcomed.

Victims of road crime and campaigners are invited to attend the manifesto launch on Wednesday 18 March at 3pm - 4pm at the House of Commons (Room W1, off Westminster Hall).

RhiaFavero