IAM RoadSmart responds to new law on dangerous driving

Jun 30 | 2022

On Tuesday, 28 June a new law came into force in the UK to close a loophole that allowed drivers who cause permanent disability or injury through careless driving to avoid prison, substantial fines or bans.

Neil Greig (IAM RoadSmart)The Bill creates a new offence of ‘causing serious injury by careless driving’ and is part of the government’s effort to improve driving standards and to punish those who don’t give their full attention to the road. This offence will carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison. In addition, drivers who commit death by dangerous driving or death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drink or drugs can now potentially face life imprisonment.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented, “IAM RoadSmart found 86% of people support the move to introduce life sentences for drivers who cause death by dangerous driving, however the problem is that people who are causing the most damage often don’t think about their actions or the consequences before they do it. To reduce offending, we need to focus on raising the fear of being caught. You just need to look at the mobile phone legislation where we've seen the fine increased to £200 and six penalty points, and yet many of us will see somebody holding a mobile phone behind the wheel every day because people just don’t believe they are going to get caught.”

Neil continued, “As it currently stands not many people who are found guilty are currently given the full sentence they can be for this crime. There are already sentencing guidelines in place, however if the previous maximum sentence of 14 years is not currently used then what are the chances of a life sentence being used?” 

During the pandemic there were more people caught speeding on the UK’s roads - particularly for excessive speeding - yet overall, the last two years have seen fewer deaths and injuries on the roads. IAM RoadSmart believes this is due to fewer people travelling during COVID-19 and more speeders being spotted and prosecuted by the police.

Photo: Neil Greig.