WEST Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has spoken out in Parliament calling on the Government to bring forward its “long-promised creation” of the new driving offence – causing serious injury by careless driving.
Ms Cooper joined neighbouring MPs at the Westminster Hall Debate on e-petition 236952 relating to dangerous driving, brought forward by Petitions Committee Member Helen Jones MP, Warrington North.
This petition was started by the parents of Violet-Grace Youens, the four-year-old girl killed by a speeding car in St Helens in 2017.
The petition calls on the Government to honour its promise of bringing in life sentences for those convicted of dangerous driving, it reads:
“In October 2017, the Government promised life sentences for death by dangerous driving. It’s now 2019. Innocent people have been killed, but nothing has changed. The law is out of date.
Anyone convicted of death by dangerous driving should receive life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 15 years. If more than one person is killed or injured, the sentences must run separately.”
At the same time, the Government also promised to create the new driving offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, which if in place at the time Burscough resident Georgia Addy was hit by a careless van driver, would have meant a greater punishment than the £500 fine he received.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said in the debate: “The Government promised to introduce life sentences for death by dangerous driving and to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving two years ago.
“Many families across this country including my constituent Mr Addy from Burscough whose daughter was mown down in 2016 by a driver who received a fine of £500 and no jail sentence, all these people are waiting for these promises to become law.
“Does my Hon Friend agree that not only do we need the appropriate punishment but effective deterrence for dangerous and careless driving, excessive speeding, reckless joyriding and we need it now, everyone has waited long enough.”
St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer agreed with the call for urgent action to be taken.
Speaking after the debate, Ms Cooper commented: “It is clear there is a desire for change both from the public across the country and from MPs in Parliament, but the Ministry of Justice has so far failed to make any progress on introducing the new minimum sentence or creating the new offence.
“Government needs to get a move on and act now to ensure appropriate punishments are handed down to offenders, and also in the hope that tougher sentences will deter these careless and reckless drivers, save lives and reduce instances of serious injury caused.
“Victims want to see justice and for no other families to go through what they have had to experience.”