Cycling UK poll reveals 77 per cent of people support automatic minimum driving ban for drivers who cause serious injury

A poll carried out for Cycling UK has revealed that most people support an automatic ban for drivers convicted of causing death or serious injury.

In cases where drivers are convicted of causing serious injury, 77 per cent of respondents said they should face an automatic minimum ban and 83 per cent said they should be automatically banned if they’d killed someone.

Currently, driving bans are supposed to be imposed automatically for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving, but Ministry of Justice figures from 2017 have shown that 61 drivers convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving escaped a direct ban, while 28 convicted of causing death by careless driving were not directly disqualified.

The poll also revealed that 83 per cent of people said retesting should happen where there was serious injury and 86 per cent said it should happen where there was a fatality.

Retesting is only mandatory for convictions related to death by dangerous driving.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “It’s clear the public believe that drivers who have presented the most danger to others should be removed from our roads, but they’re less clear about what amounts to risky behaviour.

“Whilst 91 per cent of respondents with a full driving license thought they were ‘competent and careful’ drivers, over half of them admitted to speeding on roads with 30mph limits and 20mph limits, the latter usually being imposed around schools, hospitals and where our children walk and play.

“If so many people are unable to recognise that speeding in such areas presents risks, and that they’re not driving carefully and competently when doing so, it’s no surprise that our laws around careless and dangerous driving are in such a mess.

“Those laws are based on the standard of the careful and competent driver. However in court, this standard is based on the subjective views of what jurors see as acceptable driving behaviour, not on what is actually safe.

“We need to review our road traffic laws so there’s a clearer objective standard for the driving we expect on our roads, otherwise what’s judged to be careless or dangerous driving will remain a lottery."

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, said: “Our road laws must do all they can to protect us from unsafe drivers, but flaws in the current framework limit this ability.

“A review of road traffic offences and penalties is needed to regain the public’s trust and to ensure that just and fair outcomes are consistently delivered.”

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