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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 06:51 GMT
MP wants accident law change
Police accident graphic
Calls have been made to change the law
Wrexham MP Ian Lucas wants to create tougher sentencing for careless drivers involved in fatal accidents.

Currently, motorists who are not charged with causing death by dangerous driving are charged with careless driving which only carries a fine.

Mr Lucas wants to create another offence of causing death by negligent driving, which could carry a jail term. However, a mother whose son was killed in a road accident said his proposed new changes do not go far enough.

"If you've killed someone, it's a homicide.....the law is wholly inadequate at the moment and there should be a manslaughter offence," said Zoe Stow.

It is often difficult to establish death by dangerous driving
Ian Lucas, Wrexham MP

Ms Stow's 15-year-old son was killed in a road accident in 1995. She is now the chairman of Road Peace, the UK's national charity for bereaved and injured road crash victims.

She said the driver who knocked down her child was never charged with anything.

"Most of us accept road deaths and it's only when it happens to you that you realise 90% or more could've been avoided," she said.

"The courts should have a very wide perimeter for sentencing," she added.

Mr Lucas, a member of the transport select committee, has been campaigning on the issue for some time and is hoping to raise the matter during the Commons' second reading of the road safety bill on Tuesday.

"It is often difficult to establish death by dangerous driving and, as a consequence, relatives feel someone's death is not recognised by a careless driving conviction," he said.

Under the former solicitor's bill, "causing death by negligent driving would be tried in only the Crown Court and would be a serious offence, with a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment".

Police welcome drink-drive fall
10 Jan 05 |  Scotland

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