MP backs tougher sentences for dangerous driving

August 27 2020

A MOVE to increase the the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life imprisonment has been backed by Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore.

The MP has been calling for a change in the law ever since the death of tandem riders Ross and Clare Simons at the hands of a disqualified driver in Hanham in 2013.

He has been supporting and campaigning alongside Ross and Clare’s families to reform the current legislation and ensure law-breaking drivers face tougher sentences.

Now Mr Skidmore has given his backing to the Death by Dangerous Driving (Sentencing) Bill, which had its First Reading in July. The Second Reading is due in October.

It follows a 2017 consultation on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury which found significant support for increasing the maximum sentence for this offence.

The Bill, which has won cross-party support,  would amend the Road Traffic Offenders Act. It has been introduced by former Prime Minister Theresa May and Mr Skidmore is a co-sponsor.

Mr Skidmore has pushed to strengthen the law on dangerous driving and has raised the issue at the highest level of Government, speaking in Parliamentary debates and meeting Ministers, as well as presenting a 15,000-strong petition to 10 Downing Street. 

His efforts were also recognised by the road safety charity Brake who awarded him a national road safety award in 2014.

Mr Skidmore said: “Having campaigned alongside the families of Ross and Clare to introduce tougher sentences for serial driving offenders and disqualified drivers, I have seen the impact death by dangerous driving can have on the victim’s loved ones and the community. 

 “I am therefore delighted to be able to continue to push for reform in this area and co-sponsor this Bill to help achieve justice for victims and their families, and I look forward to monitoring the Bill’s progress to the next stage."