Tougher Sentences for Driving Offences

August 18, 2022
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The Highway Code has recently been updated to reflect increases in the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life. Similarly, the maximum sentence for causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs has increased from 14 years to life. The minimum disqualification period for both offences has increased from a minimum of 2 years to a minimum of 5 years. On top of this, a new offence has been created for causing serious injury while driving dangerously carrying an unlimited fine, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment and an obligatory driving disqualification.

The updated section of the Highway Code covering penalties can be found here:

These changes were first announced in 2017 and were brought into effect under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. They are part of a trend towards harsher penalties for dangerous behaviour on the roads.

It is important that employers also ensure their employees are safe to drive for work. Employers hold a responsibility, to ensure so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of their employees and others including on public roads.

Where you have employees who drive for work, the risks should be assessed and suitable controls put in place. Key factors to consider include the driver, the journey and the vehicle. You must make sure that vehicles are suitable and safe to drive, journeys are planned for example allowing adequate time and choosing the safest routes and drivers have the competence and capabilities needed.

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using [email protected]  if you have any questions about employer responsibilities when employees drive for work.