Greg Mulholland – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Greg Mulholland on 2014-05-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were convicted of causing death by (a) careless and (b) dangerous driving in the last year for which figures are available; and what the average sentence was for each offence.

Jeremy Wright

Severe maximum penalties, of 14 years imprisonment, are available for those who cause death through dangerous driving or under the influence of drink or drugs and statistics show that the overwhelming majority of those convicted for these offences receive lengthy custodial sentences. The maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving is 5 years imprisonment and for causing death by disqualified, unlicensed or uninsured driving is two years imprisonment. We are keeping the law in this area under review. If any further changes are needed, we will bring forward proposals.

The Justice Secretary made an announcement on 6 May about our plans to strengthen the law in relation to disqualified drivers who cause death or serious injury; increasing the maximum sentence for causing death by disqualified driving to 10 years and introducing a new offence of causing serious injury by disqualified driving, with a maximum penalty of 4 years.

The number of offenders found guilty and sentenced to an immediate custody at all courts and the average custodial sentence length (months) for ‘careless’ and ‘dangerous’ driving in England and Wales from 2008 to 2012 (latest available data) can be viewed in the table.

Court proceedings data for 2013 are planned for publication in May 2014.