Baroness Newlove welcomes the government’s plan to review sentencing powers for driving offences

The Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, spoke at a debate in the House of Lords on 15 December about road traffic accidents and the use of mobile phones. Baroness Newlove welcomed the opportunity to debate this important issue and that the Ministry of Justice is reviewing the sentencing powers for the most serious driving offences.

During the debate, Baroness Newlove said:

“I welcome the Government’s intention to put this issue, of reducing mobile phone use when driving, high on their priority list. I welcome penalties for drivers being toughened up. The doubling of fines and points on driving licences will be a good deterrent for some drivers, but we need to look at how this can affect more than just some. There will be drivers who will still get behind the wheel and pay no regard to these changes in the law. We need to make them aware of the huge impacts that they will cause to victims if they continue to ignore these proposals.

“I strongly believe that reducing mobile phone use will reduce the numbers of victims affected by bad driving habits, but we all need to play our part. We need better education and hard-hitting messages to ensure that the next generation who love social media are aware of what could happen. While it is exciting to pass your test and own a car, it is also quite dangerous. A car is a weapon on our roads that needs to be respected.

“We have to ensure that we make safety on our roads viable for everyone.”

A transcript of Baroness Newlove’s speech can be accessed here.