Justice secretary praises our killer drivers campaign

Liz Truss and Alan Mak
Liz Truss and Alan Mak
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The justice secretary has praised our campaign calling for tougher sentences for those who kill on the roads.

Liz Truss MP said the Johnston Press Drive for Justice campaign worked ‘tirelessly’ for victims’ families.

It comes just days after the Ministry of Justice announced killer drivers may face life sentences, launching a public consultation.

The current 14-year maximum for causing death by dangerous driving has been widely-criticised.

And an investigation last month by Johnston Press reporters revealed that no-one in the UK has ever received the maximum sentence.

Mrs Truss's comments came at a meeting with Havant MP Alan Mak who also backed the campaign that has sought to represent bereaved families.

In a statement, Mrs Truss said: ‘The Portsmouth News and its sister papers have tirelessly campaigned on this important issue - calling for tougher sentences for those who drive dangerously and kill on our roads.

‘Nothing can compensate for the death of a loved one but the government wants to make sure the punishment fits the crime.’

Nearly 3,000 people have signed our petition since it was launched, supporting tougher sentencing and a shutting down of legal loopholes.

The government’s consultation also proposes increasing to a life sentence the maximum punishment for a charge of causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Mr Mak said: ‘Killer drivers rip apart families and ruin lives so I am fully behind these new proposals.

‘The pain felt by loved ones will stay with them for the rest of their lives, which is why we need to make sure the punishment fits the crime.

‘Reading some of the tragic stories highlighted by the Drive for Justice campaign has made it clear that more needs to be done.

‘That’s why the Government’s message is absolutely clear – if you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.’

Crawley MP Henry Smith also met Liz Truss yesterday to discuss proposals from the Government to strengthen custodial sentences for killer drivers.

Mr Smith said: "When I meet Crawley residents it’s always heartbreaking to hear when a member of someone’s family has been killed by a reckless driver.

“It’s right that the Government are looking to increase sentences for dangerous drivers."

Yesterday, Scotland's First Minister endorsed the Drive For Justice campaign.

Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: "Those who drive dangerously and kill people ruin lives, not just of those who die but also their family and friends.

"I do think there is a strong case for toughening up the sentences that are available to the courts in these circumstances, and I hope very much that will be the direction of travel the UK Government takes, once it has had the opportunity to consider the responses of the consultation.”

• Sign the Drive For Justice petition here:- www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-deliver-stiffer-punishments-for-drivers-who-kill-or-seriously-injure-on-uk-roads