Proposed changes to Dangerous Driving Law could Send Offenders to Prison for Life

Dangerous drivers could face harsher sentences as a new bill by former Prime Minister Theresa May makes it way through the Commons. The bill proposes to make changes to dangerous driving laws. The changes will increase courts freedom to issue tougher sentences for those who have committed serious motoring offences.

The updates could see some offenders issued life sentences to stop them walking clear after just years.

Drivers who kill others after speeding, racing, or using a phone, could receive life sentences under new legislation.

Serious dangerous driving accident

Those who cause death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs could also get a life sentence.

It comes after police forces have revealed that 555 drivers were killed or seriously injured in England and Wales through dangerous driving in the year to March.

Changes to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 will be known as “Violet Grace Law” in memory of a four-year-old child who was killed in a shocking dangerous driving incident.

The child was struck by a vehicle driving dangerously at over 80mph in a 30mph speed zone just three years ago.

However, the driver was jailed for just nine years and four months, meaning the offender could be released just next year.

The sentencing reforms will likely be introduced in Parliament early next year.

A new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving is also being proposed.

Currently, without that specific offence, drivers who cause injuries under such circumstances can only be convicted of careless driving – which has the maximum penalty of a fine.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said the proposed changes for tougher sentences would send a “strong message” to offenders.

He said: “While Britain might have some of the safest roads in Europe, it is a horrendous thought that each year more than 500 drivers in England and Wales are convicted of killing others as a result of their decision to drive dangerously”.

Permitting courts to issue much tougher sentences will send a strong message to motorists and will go some way towards reassuring families of victims killed in collisions that the law is on their side.

The new driving proposals were backed by two-thirds of road users in a massive RAC survey.

The poll revealed that a quarter of road users believe maximum sentences should be increased from the current 14 year maximum.

A massive 40 percent revealed that courts should be able to hand out a life sentence if they believe this is appropriate.

The Government pledged in 2017 to change the law to impose tougher penalties on the worst offenders.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said:

“This government has been clear that punishments must fit the crime, but too often families tell us this isn’t the case with killer drivers.

“So, today I am announcing that we will bring forward legislation early next year to introduce life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill on our roads, and ensure they feel the full force of the law.”

Any increase will apply to offences in England, Scotland, and Wales, but not Northern Ireland, which has separate road safety laws.

Call 0330 33 22 770 any time to speak to a specialist motoring law Solicitor if you require advice or assistance with any driving offence.

When Speeding turns into Dangerous Driving


When a person is caught speeding, the usual consequences include:

  1. An invitation to attend a speed awareness course;
  2. A fixed penalty of 3 points and a £100 fine;
  3. A Court summons to attend a hearing at the Magistrates’ Court and up to 6 penalty points or a ban of up to 56 days and a fine of up to £1000 (or £2500 if speeding on the motorway).

However, where the level of the speed is so excessive, the Crown Prosecution Service could consider laying an additional charge of Dangerous Driving.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no uniform approach to what level of speed would provoke the more serious charge of dangerous driving. Sadly, some geographical areas tend to take a different approach to others. I’ve acted on cases where motorists have been ‘lucky’ and avoided the more serious charge and on cases where they have not.

The Dangerous Driving charge can be, and is laid in cases where the only ‘dangerous’ factor is the speed.

There is a common misconception that to be charged with dangerous driving, you must have performed some type of risky manoeuvre such as overtaking multiple cars on a blind bend or driving on the wrong side of the road. It is a further misconception that there must be some form of consequence from the dangerous driving, such as an accident.  This is simply not the case.

I have acted on a number of previous cases where the only factor which made the person’s driving dangerous was the speed.  This is not difficult to understand when the test for dangerous driving is explored:

The test for dangerous driving is simply: whether the person’s standard of driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent driver, and whether it would be obvious to a competent driver that the person’s manner of driving would be dangerous.

The consequences of a conviction for dangerous driving when speed is the only ‘dangerous’ factor

Unfortunately, regardless of how the driving is deemed dangerous, the basic legal consequences of a dangerous driving conviction remain the same:

  • A mandatory minimum 12 month disqualification from driving;
  • An extended re-test;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • Community service or a prison sentence.

In addition, the case could be sent to Crown Court if the Magistrates feel their sentencing powers are insufficient for the nature of the offence.

How many people are driving at excessive speeds during the lockdown?

The Department of Transport has advised that motor vehicle use on Great Britain’s roads has decreased by two thirds since the lockdown started on 23rd March.

Despite this statistic, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) say that they caught more than 6,200 drivers breaking speed limits during the period 23rd March to 22nd April. One driver was clocked driving 115 miles per hour (mph) on a 40 mph road and another 129 mph on the M62.

It is not just the GMP that has noticed the high number of speeding offences during the lockdown. Avon and Somerset Police have stated that 1,391 drivers were charged with speeding offences during the same period. 144 of those caught were charged with high end offences due to the high speeds they were travelling, meaning they will automatically face prosecution due to the severity of their offences.

Gloucestershire Police recorded one driver at 74 mph in a 30 mph speed limit.

Police in Wales have seen a multitude of high-speed offences including speeds of 105 mph in a 60 mph speed limit, 114 mph and 104 mph on 70 mph roads.

Lincolnshire Police forces have stated that they have experienced a doubling in the number of speeding offences despite a reduction by two thirds in the amount of traffic.

These statistics certainly are shocking. However, they make no mention of the number of motorists who are routinely caught driving at excessive speeds in lower speed limit areas. Having acted on such cases in the past, I know that these offences, which often take place in built up areas, can be viewed far more harshly in the Courts.

If you’ve been caught driving at an excessive speed and are worried about a dangerous driving charge

Ashworth Motoring Law are specialists in representing drivers who are charged with driving at particularly excessive speeds. No matter how bad your case might seem, we can assure you it’s probably not the worst we’ve seen!

Whether you’re looking for a specialist speeding or dangerous driving solicitor to identify a defence to clear your name, or want to secure the best possible outcome and ultimately avoid a prison sentence, we can help.

Our specialist motoring law solicitors have secured some truly phenomenal results in cases just like yours. We are proud to say that despite the very real likelihood of a custodial sentence in dangerous driving cases, not a single previous client of ours has ever been sent to prison.

Call now!

Feel free to take a look at our specialist sections on Speeding, Dangerous Driving, or our Guilty Plea and Mitigation Service for more information, or call one of our expert motoring lawyers on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice. We look forward to hearing from you.

Article written by Expert Motoring Law Solicitor and Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law, Alison Ashworth

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of

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Here’s what another satisfied client had to say about our services:

Alison took the time to listen to our concerns and dealt with third parties on our behalf to ensure our case was fairly dealt with. She was considerate, efficient and a lady who gets the job done and gets the results. I cannot speak highly enough of Alison and her colleagues – there is nothing she or her team could have done better.


Alison dealt with our case with understanding and professionalism. She fought on our behalf to ensure third parties provided testimonials to ensure our son’s case was dealt with fairly. We had gone to another solicitor before hearing about Alison’s firm and I am confident that had we stayed with that firm our son would now be serving a prison sentence. Alison ensured the barrister we got on the day was excellent, both she and one of her colleagues took the time out of their busy schedule to ensure that we were represented in the manner she requested.  From the first conversation with Alison I felt a great sense of relief that she listened to my concerns and suggested a strategy that the previous solicitors didn’t. She was not happy to accept that there was nothing that could be done and she put herself out considerably to ensure our son was represented fairly.


If you ever find yourself at the wrong side of the law with a motoring offence you could not do better than Ashworth Motoring Law.

Thank you so much Alison.

Angela – Cheshire

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If you’ve been accused of a driving offence and would like Ashworth Motoring Law to represent your case, please call 0330 33 22 770 or email to speak directly to one of our expert motoring law solicitors today.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Motoring Lawyers open over the bank holiday weekend

Contact an expert motoring lawyer for free motoring law advice

The August bank holiday is almost upon us. Whilst we hope that you have a nice, relaxing weekend, our specialist motoring law solicitors will be on call day and night, including bank holiday Monday should you need our assistance.

If, over the August bank holiday weekend you need a…….

Drink Driving Solicitor

Drug Driving Solicitor

Drunk in Charge Solicitor

Failure to Provide a Specimen Solicitor

Totting up Solicitor

New Driver – Licence Revocation

Speeding Solicitor

Careless Driving Solicitor

Dangerous Driving Solicitor

Failure to Stop and Report an Accident Solicitor

Driving with no Insurance Solicitor

Mobile phone offence Solicitor

Guilty Plea and Mitigation Solicitor

….. feel free to call our free motoring law legal advice line on 0330 33 22 770.  Your call will be answered by one of our expert motoring lawyers who will support you, advise you on the law and guide you to the best possible outcome in your case. In most cases, a ban or even conviction can be avoided.

If you want to know whether your case is one of the many that can be defended, or need to speak to a specialist motoring law solicitor about avoiding a driving ban, then call 0330 33 22 770 or email

Don’t spend the bank holiday weekend with the worry of a motoring offence hanging over you. Call one of our specialist motoring law solicitors today.


Can you play Pokemon Go whilst driving?

It’s less than one week since Pokemon Go went live in the UK, and it’s already causing havoc on our roads.

There’ve been reports of gamers walking into the middle of roads to catch Pokemon, motorways clogged due to drivers abandoning their cars to play Pokemon battles, and now people are now attempting to catch Pokemon whilst driving.

Whilst we’re sure you don’t need an expert in motoring law to tell you that this is clearly illegal, here are some of the potential consequences you’d face if caught doing this by the police.

  • 3 points and a fine for using a mobile telephone, or tablet, or any other form of interactive communication device used to play the game whilst driving.
  • 3 – 9 Penalty points or a ban for careless or inconsiderate driving if playing the game causes your standard of driving to fall below that which is expected of a competent driver or if you failed to show reasonable consideration for other pedestrians or vehicles.
  • A minimum 12 month disqualification from driving and possible prison sentence for dangerous driving if your standard of driving falls far below the standard expected of a competent driver; and It would be obvious to a competent driver that the manner of your driving would be dangerous. We think that any competent driver would conclude that playing Pokemon whilst driving would be dangerous!

The above legal consequences are of course nothing in comparison to the very real physical dangers that doing something so distracting whilst behind the wheel of a car would present to you and other motorists and pedestrians using the road.

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Article written by Expert Motoring Lawyer, Alison Ashworth; Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law Ltd.

The specialist Driving Offence Solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law are experts in defending all types of Motoring Offence. From totting up, using a mobile phone whilst driving to drug driving, our Specialist Motoring Lawyers can help. If you have been charged with Driving Offence and would like to speak to a specialist Motoring Law solicitor about your case, call 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice or email

Pokemon Go whilst driving