Judge wants UK to have tougher sentences for dangerous drivers
At last a British judge, fed up with giving reckless drivers soft sentences has spoken out. No doubt he is sick of the same old culprits turning up at court so soon after just completing a light ban for other similar dangerous offences.
Road accidents are 'becoming the norm', often put in tiny paragraphs in newspapers or not in at all. Sometimes accidents are only in the mainstream media to provide information on the 'inconvenience' such as delays. The media dumbs down the increasing epidemic of road accidents and seriousness of them; many of them preventable by simple things by not drinking, not using a handheld phone or not driving too fast in poor conditions. Basic stuff really.
Laws need to be tougher to get these bad drivers off the road, ones that don't seem to learn and even then, tougher to make sure they don't get in their car despite a ban. However, anti-social drivers will cunningly get back into their car because 'they need to get to work'.
"Judge goes against Government policy as he pleads for power to give tougher punishments.
Judge Ian Pearson says dangerous driving should receive a maximum of at least five years, not two, as it is now Courts are being forced to hand out soft jail terms to dangerous criminals because of Government sentencing guidelines, a judge has complained.
Judge Ian Pearson called for the power to impose tougher penalties for serious offences such as grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving. He added that courts 'should not shirk away' from imposing jail terms where appropriate.
Mr Pearson's concerns echo those raised by several other judges working in Crown Courts. A former Labour councillor, he has put himself at odds with the Government's long-running drive to cut jail sentences.
Mr Pearson, 60, who sits at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: 'Dangerous driving is a maximum of two years when it should be at least five. 'You can get 10 years for killing by dangerous driving but only two if you maim them for life. 'Grievous bodily harm is a maximum of five years, unless made with intent which can be life. There's an argument for there being a mid-range offence carrying 10 years. 'If someone is glassed in a pub and badly scarred, unless you can prove it was with intent, you can only really give them three years. He said: 'Obviously Crown Court judges can only sentence in accordance with the law and in accordance with the view of the Appeal Court, so we would like frequently to impose heavier sentences.'
The Sentencing Guidelines Council, set up by Labour, makes recommendations that are imposed on all courts after approval by the Appeal Court.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the Government supported the need for stiff penalties for driving offences.
'Where a person commits a serious driving offence he will be charged and sentenced accordingly. 'For example, the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years. The offence of drink-driving also carries compulsory disqualification from driving for at least 12 months.'
Why should people worry about their family driving and them not coming back due to some idiot motorist with poor driving skills? Good drivers should be on the road, bad drivers off and make sure they're off.
One stupid law that needs to tackled is the mere £60 fine for driving with a handheld phone.
I had an incident of a bad driver yesterday. I was walking up a narrow country road where there are signs saying SLOW and horses. It was also at a bend. A good driver would take that into account. As I walked up up the hill, (it had no footpath or camera), a driver sped round at speed and nearly went into me. As the male motorist saw me, he suddenly turned right at the bend; it was lucky there wasn't another speeding car in the opposite direction'. The motorist looked like he was 'having fun and chatting to his mates'. Sheer stupidity and this guy passed his test? No doubt, this type of driver, if he had hit me, would have done a 'hit and run'.