A new motoring offence of "Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving" was added to UK law. Anyone convicted of this offence faces a prison phrase of up to five years and or disqualification from driving. This particular new law is recognized as to be highly significant. The very first time a person guilty of traveling below the standard expected of a reasonably able driver which results in any sort of accident and a death can receive a prison sentence.
Prior to this offence the criminal prosecution would need to prove dangerous driving to permit the court to have the option of a prison sentence. The weight of evidence needed to prove dangerous driving could be considerable. In 04 there were approximately 3,500 people killed on UK streets and only 406 prosecutions with regard to causing death by dangerous driving. It is estimated that currently just one in ten fatalities caused on United kingdom roads result in a criminal prosecution for causing dying by dangerous driving. This is down to the definition of dangerous driving and the level of bad driving that is needed to be shown to substantiate such a prosecution.
Many cases will be prosecuted under the new legislation and lots of will result in prison phrase being imposed, where previously such a sentence was not possible. This particular new legislation will create something of a dilemma for the legal courts however. Should they phrase on the degree of criminality or even on the consequences of the offending? Say a person committed a minor error such as failing to observe a cyclist whenever pulling out of a 4 way stop, however this error led to the death from the cyclist. The degree of criminality is actually low however the results of the offence is high. Should the driver be sent to prison?
Remarkably the magistrates court possess yet to be given any guidance in the new magistrates court sentencing guidelines issued on August Fourth 2008 and will consequently have to look to installments of causing death by dangerous driving for any guidance.
Through the years UK courts have moved towards looking at the consequences of the driving and away from the criminality or even level of driving when considering sentencing, although it is reasonable to say it is still a balancing act.
The reason the courts have relocated towards taking more account of the outcome is to act as a deterrent and was summarized by the then lawyer general in 2006 when he said "This court has stated many times that a automobile driven dangerously amounts to a lethal tool. It can and does kill and that is the reason why custody is almost usually inevitable."
The actual deterrent message is apparent and it seems the federal government is reinstating the deterrent message by introducing the new law.
All drivers in the UK ought to now be aware that the momentary lapse of focus could result in not just the death of another but also the imprisonment of ourselves.
A new car offence of "Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving" was added to UK law. Anyone convicted of this offence encounters a prison phrase of up to five years and or disqualification from driving. This particular new law is considered to be highly significant.
dangerous driving scotland, legal, Driving