Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the recent decision by the Ministry of Justice to increase the maximum sentence for motorists who cause death by dangerous driving.

The new measures mean these drivers could face the same length of sentence as those convicted of manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments: “We support these new measures. There should be no place on our roads for people who have shown a flagrant disregard for the rules and cause death because they were using a mobile phone, speeding, over the drink-drive limit or impaired by drugs.

“We are all familiar with the tragic examples where a killer driver is convicted but receives only a short sentence or even just a driving ban and a fine. Too often victims and their families have been let down, even after having their lives shattered by the selfish and reckless acts of an irresponsible driver.

“We believe the tougher sentences will help bring an end to these situations. After all, a culpable death should be treated as manslaughter, however it may be caused.”

GEM also supports the proposal to introduce three-year prison sentences for careless drivers who cause serious injury.

“We hope this will discourage people from taking risks,” adds Worth. “However, in order for the tougher sentences to be effective, we do also need a higher-visibility police presence on our roads.”