THE CYCLING LAWYER)
WEDNESDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Criminal Justice System; How it fails us and how it needs reform
Nobody could fail to be deeply moved by hearing, as I did on Radio 4 this morning, the relatives of victims killed by dangerous drivers speaking about how they felt the killers responsible should face charges of manslaughter rather than death by dangerous driving. The amazing charity, Roadpeace, has been calling for this for years and is now, due to recent events, at last getting somewhere with Prime Minister May indicating at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions that the Department of Justice are to review the laws relating to those who cause death by dangerous driving.
This is why I believe the review should not just look at throwing the book at the worst offenders but also at making a serious effort to crack down on relatively low level offenders who have not yet killed but whose casual texting, close-passing, speeding etc. increases the risk that they will kill or seriously harm in the future. We have made some progress in recognising that drink drivers need to be taken off the road even if ‘no harm done’. Do let us extend this and take away the privilege of driving from those who are likely to harm. A review of the absurd system of pleading ‘special reasons’ to keep a licence to drive notwithstanding serial offending would be a useful start. In addition the equally absurd view adopted by many police forces that if there is no injury due to careless or dangerous driving then it is not in the public interest to prosecute must be jettisoned.