Government laws could fail as a deterrent against crimes committed while driving
In the wake of the Government’s recent announcement of a comprehensive review of driving offences and penalties, Professor Sally Kyd Cunningham from the School of Law has argued that higher prison sentences could fail to act as a deterrent against ‘death by driving’ offences – and that it is the punishment for underlying offences that should instead be revised.
Two controversial new offences are called into question: ‘causing death by driving by disqualified driving’ and ‘causing serious injury by disqualified driving’, with Professor Kyd Cunningham suggesting that the laws will ultimately do little to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused in driving crashes.
Her research also suggests that there is a paradox between how the media portrays driving offences, creating a situation where disqualified drivers are classed as criminals while speeding drivers are not classed as criminal until a collision occurs.
Professor Kyd Cunningham discussed Government changes to driving offences and penalties at a panel debate in London on Friday 13 June which was hosted by the National Cycling Charity (CTC). Officials from the Sentencing Council were in attendance and the CTC launched its latest Road Justice campaign reports.