“Longer sentencing not only answer for drivers who kill” says Cycling UK

Cycling UK believes there is greater opportunity for use of driver disqualifications

“Longer sentencing not only answer for drivers who kill” says Cycling UK

Cycling UK today (Monday, 16 October) reacted to the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) consultation response on “driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury”, by urging the government to lay out a clear commitment and timescale for its proposals to consider driver disqualifications for all road traffic offences.

The consultation was launched in December 2016 and received over 9,000 responses, reports the MoJ. Despite an earlier statement in May 2014 by then Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, announcing the government’s intention to launch a full review into all road traffic offences and sentencing, the consultation only considered driving offences and penalties which cause serious injury or death.

Cycling UK, together with road safety organisations including RoSPA and RoadPeace, believes a full review of all road traffic offences and penalties is still needed. This review should include further consideration of whether the current distinction between careless and dangerous driving works. Cycling UK is therefore disappointed by the limited nature of this review, which fails to acknowledge current problems in the application of road traffic law.

The cycling charity is however pleased to see its recommendations for the greater use of driver disqualification taken seriously. In its consultation response, the government announces it “intends to give this proposal further consideration, to take account of disqualification for all offences and any emerging evidence on the effectiveness of disqualification and retesting requirements before proposing further changes to the law.”

Speaking on the greater use of driver disqualifications, Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Advocacy and Campaigns said:

“Longer sentencing is not the only answer for drivers who kill. A mistake while driving is one of the few activities which can see an otherwise law abiding citizen’s actions result in death or serious injury for a fellow road user. In such cases, custodial sentencing is not always the answer, but the use of longer and life driving bans are.

“Cycling UK is pleased to see government is considering driving bans as an option, but we urge them to make their commitment clearer and establish a clear timeline for consultation.”

Cycling UK also cautiously welcomed indications drawn from the Government’s press release announcing its consultation response that any new legislation “will take account of, and incorporate, the review of cycle safety.

ENDS

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. The MoJ consultation is available for download at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/651879/consultation-response-on-driving-offences.pdf
  3. The MoJ press release is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/life-sentences-for-killer-drivers
  4. The Government’s announcement of a full review of road traffic offences and penalties made in May 2014 is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/justice-for-victims-of-banned-drivers
Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

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