Friday, 24 September 2010

Dangerous driving law shold be altered

"The law is an ass". How many times have those words been either written or said? Thousands, maybe millions, I would think. Well here is a classic example of why I think "the law is an ass".

It concerns a motoring case that came to court in which 23 year old Christopher Marr was sentenced for dangerous driving and seriously injuring three young people. Evidently he stole his girlfriend's Volkswagen Golf, he was drunk, he drove on the wrong side of the road at it is said 90 mph and he ploughed into the teenagers who were on the pavement. Miraculously, although seriously injured, none of the three died. Not too long ago the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving had been raised to 14 years BUT if someone is injured by dangerous driving then the top limit is 2 years in custody!

This incident happened up north in Bolton by the way so not on my patch. I'm noting it here because the Judge is seething so much about his sentencing limitations that he is sending the relevant papers to David Cameron, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and the Lord Chief Justice to try to get the law altered. Marr got 26 months, presumably the extra 2 months were in consideration of the other offences. He got a 10 year driving ban as well - should have been a lifetime one.

Now it's possible from what I've read that the teenagers might be either mentally or physically scarred for life following this horrendous event. My argument is why the massive differential between death and serious injury particularly as in this case there are no less than three young lives affected. It can be a lottery in some instances as to whether a person survives or not: for example the time to get to the hospital, the particular level of skill of the medical team. Yet the dangerous driving is the same. Surely the degree of dangerous driving should carry more weight than it does rather than the length of imprisonment being so dependent on whether someone survives or not.

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