Drivers who have been convicted of serious motoring offences could serve their driving bans whilst in prison. The Ministry of Justice has said that disqualifications can start from the first day of the offenders sentence and not after they are released. This news was not welcomed by road safety campaigners who tried to persuade the Government to change this law three years ago.
People are disgraced that driving bans could be carried out by offenders whilst in prison
Jan Woodward, who is a volunteer for the Charity Brake, started Kelly’s campaign in 2009 after she discovered that the man who had killed her daughter Kelly, a convicted drunk driver would carry out most of his sentence of five years whilst he was still behind bars.
The Coroners and Justice Act was passed by the Government in November 2009 as a response to this. At this time the Ministry of Justice confirmed that the Act would make sure that offenders who were banned from driving would also be issued with prison sentenced and would be stopped from driving for a period that is seen as appropriate after they were released. However this is now seen to not be the case at all. A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman has explained that while the act (Coroners and Justice) allowed provisions for the changes to become the law, they hadn’t come into effect yet.
It was said that provisions were being implemented to ensure that this was statutory law, however it has not been explained as to when this is to occur. The Ministry of Justice guidelines let judges extend the driving bans issued to offenders by up to the same length as their sentence, though this is done on a case by case basis.
The driving ban should be carried out when the offender is out of prison
It has been exclaimed by a campaign officer of Brake that only Vital Bans are to be carried out once a convicted driver has completed their jail term, otherwise the ban is totally meaningless. It is a dissappointing factor to learn that some offenders are serving driving bans whilst in prison.
It has to be agreed, if somebody is already locked away inside a prison, then there is no compromise on anyone’s safety as they have no access to a vehicle. However who is to say if they were out of prison they wouldn’t do exactly as they already have? Just because they are serving time in prison does not mean that their driving ban should also be carried out at the same time, of course they cannot drive. When offenders come out of prison they should then be dismissed from owning or driving a car for a significant amount of time depending on how dangerous they are deemed, it really is ridiculous. Maybe if this was the case there would be less crime in reference to dangerous drivers, theft and drunk driving.