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Motorists support new driving offence

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A recent poll by The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found that motorists fully support plans for a new driving offence.

The new law will be an offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. As it stands when a motorist drives recklessly and causes serious injury as a result, they are charged with dangerous driving. The new law would mean tougher penalties for motorists as they have caused a life changing injury to the victim.

The poll revealed that 94% of drivers support the new law and 6% think it is a bad idea. The poll also asked if sentences should be based on the offence itself or the outcome of the offence i.e. a life changing injury, the results found that 53% thought the sentence should be based on the offence itself and 44% thought it should be based on the outcome.

Motorists were also asked what discourages them from driving badly, 70% said it would be the likelihood if getting caught, 48% said the consequences of causing death or injury to themselves or other people and 43% said the severity of the punishment if they are caught.

IAM chief executive Simon Best commented: “People want to see tougher penalties to deal with situations where the victim of a road accident is seriously injured.

“The government needs to ensure that punishments for dangerous driving accurately reflect the severity of the offences committed.

“It may seem shocking that enforcement is a greater deterrent to poor driving, than the risk of causing death of injury, but just as seeing police on the beat reduces crime, highly visible traffic cops reduce bad driving. Therefore any change in law needs to be supported by well resourced enforcement on our roads.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge