Redcar MP Anna Turley has welcomed the announcement today that tougher sentences will be introduced for those who cause serious injury or death on the roads.
In April Anna demanded a review of dangerous driving offences in Parliament, referring to the tragic case of 29 year old Redcar father, Alex Everington, who has been left unable to walk or feed himself and without the use of all four limbs.
Speaking in the Commons on 25th April, Anna said:
“My constituent 29 year old father Alex Everington was the victim of a road crash which left him paralysed from the neck down.
“His dad Ian said, ‘He can never take care of himself. He will never have a normal life. How do you explain this to his 10 year old child?’
“Ian Maughan was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He had taken cannabis at the time, and had 81 previous offences including a catalogue of motoring offences. At the time of the crash he was banned for careless driving.
“He received just 3 years and 4 months despite destroying Alex’s life.
“Can the minister pledge to look into the effectiveness of driving bans and crucially look again at the length of sentences for dangerous drivers?”
The Government have been conducting a review of the punishments for dangerous behaviour on the roads. Publishing the response to that review today, a new offence will be introduced for those causing serious injury by careless driving, closing a gap in the law which was letting down victims like Alex Everington. Under new legislation, judges will now be able to appropriately punish offenders who cause serious injury.
The proposals confirmed today also include:
- drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone will now face a life sentence, increased from 14 years
- the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs will also increase from 14 years to life
Commenting on the announcement, Anna said:
“I am really pleased the government have taken the overwhelming response to the consultation on board and will now be toughening up the law.
“Under the new legislation, dangerous drivers whose actions destroy lives through serious injury will not be able to escape proper justice for their actions. The careless driving loophole was letting down victims suffering extreme and life changing injuries. The punishment should now fit the crime.
“This change will sadly not bring any lives back or repair the life changing damage done to crash victims, but it will mean in future the punishment fits the crime and should make dangerous drivers think again about their behaviour on the roads.”
Ian Everington and Helen Downey (Alex’s father and step mum) said:
“We are so pleased with the outcome of this change in the law. It is an issue very close to our hearts following a life changing car crash our 29 year old son was involved in earlier this year.
“The support from Anna Turley MP and her team, alongside the Redcar & Cleveland and Durham constabulary, has been amazing and we would like to thank them all for what they have done and achieved for us.
"We only hope that nobody else has to go through this. But if it does sadly happen to another family, at least the courts will be able to impose a stiffer sentence that fits the devastation it causes.”