Almost 2,500 people have signed a petition lobbying for stiffer punishments for those who kill or seriously injure on our roads.
The Wigan Evening Post launched its Drive For Justice campaign to highlight the scandal of lenient sentences with some dangerous drivers escaping jail altogether while others are sentenced to an average of just four years in prison.
Many other motorists who kill on the roads are prosecuted under the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving which bereaved families view as an insult.
We launched a petition to lobby the Government to re-work sentencing guidelinesfor driving offences so judges can use the powers that exist as well as tackling loopholes and imposing tougher sentences for the worst offenders.
The petition has been supported by more than 2,000 people and hundreds of people have left comments giving their own personal reason for supporting the campaign.
Sign the petition here to help bring about a change.
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.
Our 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.
To have tougher sentences for the worst offenders.
Have all culpable deaths treated as manslaughter.
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.
Close the loopholes that exist such as with hit and runs where failure to stop carries a maximum of six months in prison while drink driving penalties are tougher meaning those who have been drink driving can get a lesser sentence if they flee the scene.
Look at the charges of Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving. Bereaved families feel “careless” undermines the severity of the offence when someone is killed or seriously injured by illegal and risky behaviour.
Here are some of the comments left on the petition by people from the Lancashire area:
“A car in the wrong hands is a killing machine and people need to be aware that if you drive while unfit to do so and even unintentionally kill someone then it is manslaughter. If you choose to ignore the rules you should take full responsibility for what happens.”
Julie, Hutton, Preston
“I’m signing as my daughter’s best friend was killed by a speeding driver age 10.”
“The prison sentences are a joke. They have murdered someone. It should be a minimum of 15 years and they should serve the whole sentence. Don’t let them serve half because of their good behaviour. If they were good, they wouldn’t have committed the crime in the first place.”
“The present sentences are a disgrace or the judges are too soft.”
“It’s ridiculous that ignorant, arrogant competitive drivers who are selfish and either risk killing others or do kill others do not get longer prison sentences. It is murder.”
“My friend and her family are devastated for the loss of her son killed by a drink driver.”
“I am signing this petition because these drivers have no consideration for children, adults or anyone on the roads. Especially when they mount the kerb and go on the pavement and kill a 15-year-old young man. Life is not good enough.”
“We need justice for the families. Twenty year minimum sentences should be the norm handed out.”
“People need to take a hard look at themselves if they drink and drive. Too many lives destroyed.”
“I think the law needs reviewing and sentences made more appropriate for the offence.”
“Me and my friends lost a very close friend at the age of 10. Her family lost the most gorgeous happy little girl and the driver of that vehicle that day certainly didn’t get the sentence he deserved.”
“A close friend was sadly killed earlier this year by a drunk driver who tried to leave the scene.”
“I know someone affected by this. Dreadful yet easy to stop the drivers involved.”
“At the moment, road deaths are ‘acceptable’ in this country. This needs to change and killer drivers need to be treated the same as all other killers.”
“Too many drivers are aggressive, impatient, thoughtless, drive far too fast, take crazy risks and don’t anticipate the road ahead. I am a keen cyclist and you have to be defensive all the time. Negligent drivers who kill or injure someone should be banned forever or have a very long ban and also be imprisoned.”
“I think it’s disgusting how anyone could drive away after hitting something, let alone a human being. How anyone thinks it’s OK to drive away and leave someone lying in the road is beyond me. Maybe if there was a greater punishment, they would think twice.”
“Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is the same as brandishing a loaded gun.”
“The recent killing of a family by a man using his phone to play music and all he got was 10 years. That was a ridiculously low sentence.”
“Too many lives are lost and families devastated by the actions of some drivers. I know accidents are accidents but reckless and criminal drivers should have a stronger punishment otherwise it sends out the wrong signal. My friend lost her beautiful granddaughter through a reckless driver.”
“My lovely friend lost her dear son and the punishment did not fit the crime.”
Sonia, Bamber Bridge
“A very good friend and another friend’s son both were killed by drunk and reckless drivers.”
“Having lost a loved one in a road traffic accident caused by another driver, I fully agree with the points being raised on this petition.”
“There should be stiffer sentencing for all road crime, especially that causing death.”
“I have helped a friend through the loss of her daughter at the hands of a drink driver who was also supposed to love her.”
Gill, Lytham St Annes.
“Nobody should lose a child through the carelessness of others and suffer prolonged injustice such as this.”
“I lost a friend in a road accident due to a drink driver.”
Wendy, Lytham St Annes
“There should be a zero alcohol limit (no drink at all when driving) Too many accidents.”
“I lost a close friend to some idiot who was driving under the influence of alcohol and also driving recklessly. I would like better justice for the families who lose people.”
“The family are given a life sentence. The person responsible for taking someone’s life gets three to five years. How is this justice for the family left behind? Tougher sentences may make people think.”
“My son’s life was taken in 2004 by a drunk driver at the age of 16. I am also serving a life sentence.”
“It is disgraceful. The British justice system is a joke. Judges should be brought to count. Life should be life.”
“My father was killed by a hit and run drunk driver in 1979. He only got a fine and a ban.”