Justice Committee

Press Notice No. 16 (Session 2007-08)

3 March 2008 / For Immediate Release


As part of a series of public evidence sessions looking at sentencing for specific crimes, the Justice Committee on Tuesday 4 March will be looking at proposals for sentencing causing death by driving, including the newly created offence of causing death by careless driving.

Victims groups and road safety organisations have long campaigned for drivers to face greater responsibility and stiffer sentences when they kill someone while driving, whether or not their driving is "dangerous". It is also now a specific offence to cause death if you are driving illegally-without a valid licence or insurance-no matter how you are driving.

The first set of guidelines to advise judges and magistrates passing sentence on people for these new crimes has been published  for consultation. It sets out the starting points judges would work from when determining sentences for these crimes and the factors that make them more or less serious, such as using a mobile phone.

The Committee will take evidence from victims and road safety groups as well as representatives of the criminal justice system on the new proposals, how they would work in practice and whether they serve justice and the needs of victims of death on the roads.

Details of the oral evidence session are as follows:

Tuesday 4 March in The Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 4.15pm: Professor Mike Hough, Institute for Criminal Policy Research, King’s College London

At 4.55pm: Amy Aeron-Thomas, Executive Director, RoadPeace, and Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

At 5.20pm: Chris Newell, Principal Legal Advisor, Crown Prosecution Service

A transcript of the session will be available (within 5 days) on the Reports and Publications page of the Committee’s website: www.parliament.uk/justicecom/

1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon Alan Beith MP (Chairman), Rosie Cooper MP, Mr David Howarth MP, Daniel Kawczynski MP, Siân James MP, Jessica Morden MP, Julie Morgan MP, Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Robert Neill MP, Dr Nick Palmer MP, Virendra Sharma MP, Mr Andrew Turner, Mr Andrew Tyrie MP and Dr Alan Whitehead MP

Further Information:
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Committee Website:  www.parliament.uk/justicecom

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