Eastbourne MP calls for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell speaking in Parliament
Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell speaking in Parliament

Caroline Ansell is urging residents to have their say in a government consultation on sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.

This comes after the Eastbourne MP backed a campaign by the Herald called Drive for Justice, which is fighting for tougher sentences for the worst offenders of the crime.

Mrs Ansell has spoken in Parliament on the issue and is a campaigner for tougher sentences for those who kill while behind the wheel.

Her actions come on the back of the deaths of Maria Smith and Richard Lewis-Clements in Eastbourne by drink and drug driver Jodan Hunt last year.

Mrs Ansell said, “There is great public concern that those who kill while behind the wheel are not getting adequate punishment for the lives they take and the grief they cause to those left behind.

“Therefore, I’m pleased to support this campaign for fairer sentencing.

“I have supported the families of Maria Smith and Richard Lewis-Clements in their campaign to see offenders banned from driving for life through promoting their petition and raising the matter in a Parliamentary debate.

“It’s clear more must be done to tighten up, and make consistent, the law in cases of drink and/or drug driving, but it must also be tightened up in the cases of those who use their phones while behind the wheel.

“The All Party Parliamentary Group on Road Safety and Transport Sustainability I have agreed to join will be pushing this agenda in this Parliament and it’s my hope we will see considerable progress on this matter in the next few years.

“I am pleased the Government is looking closely at this issue and I will contributing to the consultation and urging ministers to act quickly to toughen up sentences for the offence of death by dangerous driving and to look at removing the option of a careless driving charge when a life is lost.

“I will also be asking them to impose a lifetime driving ban on those convicted of the offence, which is not the case at the moment, and a point that causes even more upset for those who lose a family member.

“Of course, no sentence will bring back a life lost but the prison terms the courts should be able to impose must adequately reflect the seriousness of the crime and I believe the majority of the public do not believe this is the case presently.”

The public consultation is now open for comments and it closes on February 1.

To take part visit www.consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/driving-offences-causing-death-or-serious-injury/

Drive For Justice is seeking to give families affected by the anguish of road deaths as a result of reckless and criminal driving a voice to bring about change and better justice.

The campaign aims to: call on the Government to re-work sentencing guidelines and give judges specialist training so they can use the full powers that are available to them when deciding sentences for offenders; have tougher sentences for the worst offenders; have all culpable deaths treated as manslaughter; and to see more driving bans and longer driving bans handed out to those who kill or seriously injure on the roads or risk injury and death.