West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has renewed her calls for the Government to come good on their promise to reform sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.

In a joint letter to the Prime Minister ahead of the Queen’s Speech on Monday, MPs have called for a renewed commitment to these reforms, after the first promise came in October 2017 and has still not been progressed.

The letter states:
“The time has finally come for the Government to act on its promises. It would certainly go a long way to restoring the faith of these bereaved families if such changes were outlined in the Queen’s Speech as part of the Government’s agenda for the coming parliamentary session.

“I know you will agree that such an occasion is a fitting one to indicate the importance and urgency that these reforms merit, given that they could finally correct the law on sentences for causing death by dangerous driving. These reforms would ensure some form of justice for the families affected and hopefully act as a deterrent to prevent other tragic cases. These reforms are long overdue and it is imperative that they be included in the upcoming Queen’s Speech.”

At the same time, the Government also promised to create the new driving offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, which if in place at the time a Burscough resident Georgia Addy was hit by a careless van driver, would have meant a greater punishment than the £500 fine he received.

MP Rosie joined neighbouring MPs in July at the Westminster Hall Debate on e-petition 236952 relating to dangerous driving, brought forward by Petitions Committee Member Helen Jones MP, Warrington North. This petition was started by the parents of Violet-Grace Youens, the four-year-old girl killed by a speeding car in St Helens in 2017.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper spoke in that debate, she said:
“The Government promised to introduce life sentences for death by dangerous driving and to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving two years ago.

“Many families across this country including my constituent Mr Addy from Burscough whose daughter was mown down in 2016 by a driver who received a fine of £500 and no jail sentence, all these people are waiting for these promises to become law.”

Rosie further commented:
“It is clear there is a desire for change both from the public across the country and from MPs in Parliament, but the Ministry of Justice has so far failed to make any progress on introducing the new minimum sentence or creating the new offence.

“Government needs to get a move on and act now to ensure appropriate punishments are handed down to offenders, and also in the hope that tougher sentences will deter these careless and reckless drivers, save lives and reduce instances of serious injury caused.

“Victims want to see justice and for no other families to go through what they have had to experience, that is why I have joined with colleagues to call on the Prime Minister to make clear in his Queen’s Speech on Monday that these reforms will come through urgently and be a key priority alongside the Domestic Abuse Bill, Leasehold Reform and many, many others issues.”

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