A SENIOR police chief is supporting The Road To Justice campaign to ensure dangerous drivers are given tougher sentences for taking unnecessary risks on the road.
Tim Madgwick, deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire, spoke to The Press as we call on the Government to re-write sentencing guidelines for drivers who kill or seriously injure others when they get behind the wheel.
Deputy chief constable Madgwick is particularly keen for the law to come down hard on those who take risks which could have a potentially lethal impact on others.
He said: “I would totally agree that there needs to be a more serious sentence if there are aggravating factors, like speeding, drinking or taking drugs, or using a mobile phone to call or text behind the wheel.
“There needs to be a stronger tariff because people are taking decisions that could take somebody’s life.”
Since the campaign launched six days ago, families and victims of dangerous drivers have spoken about the sense of injustice they feel when judges hand out lenient sentences in court.
This is something the deputy chief constable is conscious of when officers investigate life changing crashes.
“There are a range of sentences and it’s hard to deliver justice to the families,” he added.
“Justice in the first sense is being held to account for your actions.
- Speeding crash driver asks for shorter sentence - His victim tells of disgust
- 1 in 7 Yorkshire workers feels obliged to check their phone while driving, says survey
- Tiredness causes most crashes
- 20,000 back petition for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers
- Police support technology to stop phones working at the wheel
“Often custodial sentences can seem quite short to a family because if somebody is two or three times over the limit and gets three or four years, it seems quite low for somebody who consciously gets behind the wheel.
“I can get behind the families because I have seen the pain and suffering it has caused, and it is life changing.
“For some offenders it can be life changing as well, but it’s nothing compared to a family who has lost a loved one.
“What they feel can often be similar to a family who has lost a loved one in a murder or manslaughter case.”
We believe reckless drivers responsible for killing or inflicting life-changing injuries should not be punished lightly. Judges are bound by strict guidelines which limit the sentences they can hand down.
We believe those guidelines need to change to give victims and families a sense of justice when they walk out of the courtroom to begin rebuilding their lives.
The Press has already published the stories of families and victims affected by dangerous drivers.
This includes Linda Atkinson, a moped rider left on a life support machine for three weeks after she was hit by a speeding driver in St Maurice’s Road, York, last October.
To support the campaign, go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/156369 and sign the petition to urge MPs to take action.
Follow us online at www.facebook.com/theroadtojustice