ROAD safety campaign group Brake have today outlined their reasons why dangerous drivers should get tougher sentences.
They are supporting The Road To Justice campaign as we call on the Government to re-write sentencing guidelines for people who kill or seriously injure.
The 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.
In a statement to The Press, the charity said: "Every day in Great Britain five lives are cut suddenly and violently short by dangerous criminal drivers.
"The devastated friends and family left to piece their lives back together suffer in multiple ways.
"Firstly, the loss of the loved one itself, the raw pain and seemingly endless grief of knowing they will never see that person again. Then there is the lack of support.
"Despite the shock and trauma of this kind of death being very similar to a murder, the help and support available simply isn’t on the same scale.
"Finally, after months of questions and inquiries there may be a court case where someone is charged and hopefully convicted over their loved one’s death.
"But then comes the final blow, an offender given a couple of years or even months behind bars. In many cases, 40%, there is no custodial sentence at all.
"When it comes to justice for road crash victims and their families the first problem is the charge itself. Often people are accused of causing death by “careless” driving. I’d suggest “careless” would be dropping your car keys, not hitting someone with so much force you end their life. If drink or drugs are involved the charge may be causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
"Again, how is getting behind the wheel of a car after taking drink or drugs ever not dangerous.
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"We want criminal drivers who kill to face appropriate charges.
"A dad we are working with who lost his daughter to a drink and drug-driver explains it incredibly well, “If someone went out onto the street drunk or on drugs and started shooting and inadvertently killed someone, they’d be facing a manslaughter charge, not death by dangerous shooting.”
"We must now ask why this is.
"The second issue is sentencing. At present the average custodial sentence for a killer driver is four years, with release after just half that time. We must stop seeing road crime as second class crime and those affected as second class victims.
"We choose whether to drive safely or dangerously, those who lose their lives have no choice, and their families have no choice but to live with the pain. Surely they at least deserve justice?
To support the campaign, go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/156369 and sign the petition to urge MPs to take action.
The petition already has more than 18,000 signatures and will be discussed in Parliament when it reaches 100,000.