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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 18:55 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38199720

Quote:
Dangerous drivers who kill could face life in prison

Drivers who cause death by dangerous or careless driving could get life in prison under new government proposals.

Ministers want to bring the offence, which has a maximum sentence of 14 years, in line with manslaughter.

Motorists who cause death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone are among those who could face longer sentences.

Road safety charity Brake welcomed the plans, but is worried the lesser charge of "careless" driving could remain.

Offenders convicted while under the influence of drink or drugs could also be given life sentences.

In 2015, the average custodial sentence for causing death by careless or dangerous driving was just under four years.

Basically, this is just bringing the law in line with that applying to manslaughter.

However, to my mind there is a fundamental problem with applying harsh sentences to offences where there is no mens rea or guilty intent.

Also I'm sure I've read that the average sentence for manslaughter is less than that for causing death by dangerous driving.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 20:08 
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There are several problems here that Brake do not seem to understand. As Peter says, there is a huge difference between making a minor error leading to a fatality (careless) and a deliberately dangerous action.

As an example, take a woman who after loading her child and shopping into the car, absentmindedly pulls out without looking in the mirror, causes a car coming along to swerve and hit and kill a pedestrian. Should she be sentenced to life? Should the driver of the second car be banged up forever as they did the killing?

A possible sentence of life imprisonment is no deterrent here and would have made no difference to the actions of the woman.

There is also the disconnect between the action and its outcome. The same careless action can result in absolutely no effect or a fatality. There is no difference in the offence so why should there be a difference in the punishment dependent on the outcome?

Finally, there would soon be no room in jails for all the lifers created by this suggestion.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 23:58 
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Fine, if other road users were to be held as accountable. How about the average mother with pram that sticks pram into roadway to check that it's safe to cross. Child could be first in line to be killed, but Brake would have the car driver ,possibly left with no space to go ,and a pram not in view , responsible. How about the pedestrian dodging across the road ,and misjudging traffic. Or the pedestrian /toddler on a footpath( designed for those on foot), severely injured by a cyclist .

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 09:07 
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I'm sure BRAKE have proposed introducing an offence of just "Causing death by DRIVING", so there's no need to demonstrate that someone's driving was careless or dangerous. If you're driving a motor vehicle and are involved in a fatal accident, you get banged up regardless of fault.

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Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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