Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti
MP Rehman Chishti has presented two new Bills in Parliament to get tough on motorists who drive while disqualified.
The first Bill would give courts the power to lock up motorists who cause death whilst disqualified for up to 14 years instead of the current maximum of two years. This will bring it in line with the current law for death by dangerous driving.
Mr Chishti’s second Bill would allow courts to tackle repeat offenders, who, despite being banned from the road, continue to drive.
Currently the maximum sentence they can receive is six months, even if they have been caught three times or more.
Under Mr Chishti’s proposals, those caught multiple times could face up to two years in jail.
Figures recently published by the Ministry of Justice show that more than 40% of drivers disqualified in 2012 had previous convictions for the same offence.
They also show that almost three quarters (72.4%) of offenders given a custodial sentence for driving whilst disqualified have been convicted before and around a quarter (23.3%) have multiple convictions for the same offence.
Mr Chishti said: “It is an astonishing and unacceptable anomaly that motorists who continue to drive after having been disqualified face such lenient sentences.
“These are people who have already been convicted for an offence, breach a court order by wilfully choosing to ignore the law and jeopardise road safety.
“My first Bill will give the courts the powers they need to tackle repeat offenders by giving them harsher sentences. The second will ensure drivers can face the same sentence as given for death by dangerous driving. This will act as a real deterrent and stop motorists putting innocent lives at risk.”
The Bills will receive their Second Reading on Friday 28 February 2014.