Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma has added his name to a Bill that seeks to bring in tougher penalties for those who drive dangerously and risk lives of innocent road users and pedestrians.
The Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill was today presented in the House of Commons by Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, with Virendra Sharma MP being the Bill’s co-sponsor. They were joined by 29 further MPs, from all parties, who also backed the Bill.
The Bill has called for increasing the length of sentences, to redefine criminal driving, amend bail conditions, and to enhance investigation standards by both the police and in courts. It also calls for improving the treatment of victims and their families.
According to the most recent government figures, for the year 2014-15, 389 people were killed due to dangerous driving. Campaigners have long argued that sentences are too light and do not reflect the severity of offences.
An ongoing review by the Ministry of Justice into driving offences is expected to produce a consultation document later this year into potential legislative changes that are likely to follow in 2017.
Commenting, Virendra Sharma MP said:
Victims of criminal driving and their families must always have confidence that our legal system will deliver justice, but time and again they feel let down. I was pleased to co-sponsor the Criminal Driving Bill, which calls for tougher sentences, improving investigations and supporting victims better. The government’s review into driving offences is expected to report later this year, and this is a matter I will be watching closely so we can finally begin to deliver the proper justice that campaigners have long called for.”
Greg Mulholland MP added:
I greatly welcomed Virendra Sharma’s support for the Criminal Driving Bill. He has campaigned on behalf of families whose lives have been affected by a reckless driver and who feel let down by our legal system. With Virendra’s support, we will continue the campaign for tougher laws until proper justice is delivered.”
Alice Bailey, Campaigns and Communications Officer at road safety charity Brake, also added:
Brake is very pleased to see Mr Sharma helping to lead the Criminal Driving Bill and fight for victims of criminal driving and their families. We have long believed that our legal system gives them a raw deal and that’s why it is vital Parliament brings forward some much needed changes. The Criminal Driving Bill contains many of these changes and we hope to continue working with Mr Sharma on this hugely important issue.”