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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 14:49 GMT
MP calls for tougher driving laws
Alexine Melnik
Alexine died after an accident on the A47 in Norfolk
An MP has called on the government to ensure that drivers who cause death by careless driving can be jailed.

Northampton North MP Sally Keeble's comments follow the Lords defeat this week over new sentences for causing death through careless driving.

The new offence would carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

It was dubbed "Alexine's Law" because it followed pressure from the father of Alexine Melnik, 17, from Rushden, who was killed in a car crash.

She died after the accident on the A47 in Norfolk on her way home from a pop concert in June 2004.

The driver, who admitted careless driving, was fined 500 and given nine points on his licence.

Reverse the defeat

Under current laws, someone who causes death by dangerous driving can be jailed for up to 14 years. The offence of careless driving has a maximum penalty of a 2,500 fine.

On Thursday, Ms Keeble urged ministers to seek to reverse the defeat when the Bill was debated in the Commons.

This would enable MPs to put into effect their "deeply-held" views that it should be possible to impose a jail sentence for such a serious offence.

Commons leader Geoff Hoon, responding during exchanges on future business, said it was regarded with "great seriousness" across the country.

But critics fear it could result in jail sentence for momentary lapses of attention by drivers. They call it a knee-jerk reaction to media pressure.


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