Can the Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign change driving laws?


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Can the Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign change driving laws?02-Apr-2015

Earlier this month, David Cameron lent his support to calls for harsher sentences for dangerous driving. The British Prime Minister wrote a letter to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling requesting an “in-depth” review of the current punishment for drivers who cause death by dangerous driving, including consideration of the maximum length of sentences and driving bans for offenders. This letter was sent after Cameron met the families of four people who were killed by drivers who had previous dangerous driving offences. A petition to get justice for those victims has received over 85,000 signatures.

At the same time in Portsmouth, MPs have been pushing to put dangerous driving laws on the national agenda. Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage brought up the subject at Prime Minister’s Questions, and she also lent her support to the Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign. The campaign, led by local newspaper the News, has a manifesto written by Leeds MP Greg Mulholland. Leader of the House William Hague is another high profile supporter. Not only does the manifesto call for tougher punishment, but also improved investigations of collisions and support for victims. The Get Tough on Danger Drivers campaign is supported by Brake, a road safety charity.

Dangerous driving is a matter close to Dinenage’s heart, as two teenage girls were tragically killed in her constituency of Gosport by a drug-driver in 2013. The shocking incident angered the girls’ families and the local community; Dinenage says they “do not feel they have received justice.” Their killer, Sam Etherington, was given a nine year sentence. This is five years below the maximum sentence for dangerous driving, which is fourteen years.

The recipient of Cameron’s letter, Chris Grayling, agreed that the maximum sentence for dangerous driving could be extended after the upcoming general election. Asked for her thoughts on this progress, one of the Gosport girls’ mothers, Rose Allsop, said: “This is a step forward, but it will never be enough. It doesn’t make up for the loss of your child.” While tougher punishment may help to discourage dangerous driving, the government should also be looking at ways to better educate people about the risks of driving while drunk or on drugs, as these incidents suggest the message is not getting through.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of new dangerous driving laws? Here at Private Number Plates, we're passionate about safe and responsible driving, as well as, of course, private number plates!