Road safety charity Brake has welcomed Government proposals to create a new criminal offence of 'causing serious injury by dangerous driving'. Those convicted of the offence could spend up to five years in jail.
For the vast majority of other dangerous driving cases, the maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment provides the courts with sufficient and proportionate powers to punish offenders. However, this was not thought sufficient to deal with the devastation caused when someone is seriously injured as a result of dangerous driving.
The changes will be taken forward as part of the Government's Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. They will also affect Scotland, as driving offences are one of the areas reserved to the UK Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998.
"This new offence finally means that serious injury is recognised within the title of the offence, and this recognition is vitally important to victims and their families. It also means that dangerous drivers who inflict serious injuries can expect to see higher sentences to better reflect the terrible trauma and injuries they have caused," said Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer for Brake.
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