Society expects the criminal justice system to:
- punish and deter law breaking on the road;
- reinforce the duty of care drivers have in avoiding harm to others, especially the vulnerable;
- mitigate the suffering of victims; and
- increase public confidence that road use is being made safer.
These depend critically on successful investigation, charging and prosecution. But sentencing is the final link in the chain.
What RoadPeace has been doing
Families and the wider public are often shocked at the leniency shown criminals who have killed and injured people on the roads, especially vulnerable road users. This may be because the law does not allow the sentences felt to be appropriate or because the sentences given are substantially lower than the law allows.
We support our members and bereaved families in their efforts to reform sentencing. And they have been effective. Justice for Jamie
and also Justice4rossandclare
have been influential in getting the government to appreciate the need to revise the sentencing for causing death by driving guidelines.
We also continue to campaign for:
- reform of the Sentencing Guidelines, that are provided to the judiciary, to reflect fully the need to reduce road danger and protect vulnerable road users , and
- the Sentencing Guidelines to be applied more consistently.
RoadPeace have ensured that the victims’ voice is heard in consultations by:
- Ministry of Justice on Community Punishment (2012)
- House of Commons inquiry into Causing Death by Driving (2008)
- Sentencing Advisory Council on Causing Death by Driving (2008)
- Sentencing Advisory Panel on Causing Death by Driving (2007)
- Sentencing Advisory Panel on Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (2003).
RoadPeace monitors the sentences given for road crime. We produce annual briefings on Causing Death by Driving in England and Wales and also in London, which includes data on the sentences given. Information on sentences and examples are included in our biannual newsletter and our Five a day publication which highlights the daily toll of road deaths.
Our latest national guides are:
Causing Death by Driving (2014)
Driving bans (2014)