Ian Austin MP has expressed his disappointment with the government’s response to his call for tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving.
Figures show that In Dudley North there were 37 serious or fatal road accidents in 2016 alone, including two deaths on Priory Road and in 2017 a young mother was killed on Wood Road in Gornal.
Following a number of high profile cases and pressure from the families of victims, campaigners, and MPs, in October last year the government announced it intended to introduce tougher sentences. However, nine months later no legislation has yet been brought forward, affecting hundreds of families across the West Midlands.
Ian and more than 70 other MP’s wrote to the Justice Secretary last month to ask when the government would take the action it promised. In response, Justice Minister Rory Stewart has yet again failed to confirm when the tougher sentences can be expected to be introduced.
Ian Austin said:
“Residents in Dudley often get in touch with concerns about road safety. Just last year there was a fatal accident in Gornal, and people tell me they are worried it will happen again on Dudley’s roads. I want the Minister to do more to provide justice to victims and their families who have been effected by dangerous driving.
“I hoped progress was being made when the government announced it intended to toughen the sentences for causing death by dangerous driving, but since then, whenever Ministers have been questioned about the delay they have said that the changes will be introduced ‘as soon as parliamentary time allows’.
“I hoped that pressure from MPs and campaigners would prompt a different and more positive response, but sadly not. How many more families must be made to suffer before the government take action?”
A spokesperson for the road safety charity Brake says:
“This response is cold comfort for families across the country who have lost loved ones on our roads and seen the killers escape with far too lenient sentences. More than nine months on from the government announcement it is clear that no progress has been made and this is simply unacceptable. The government must act now and deliver justice for road crash victims.”