Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Government considers inviting evidence for lifetime bans on dangerous drivers who kill

DfT responds to petition lodged by mother of teenage girl killed by speeding motorist

The government has said that it is considering inviting a “Call for Evidence” about imposing lifetime driving bans on dangerous drivers who kill, in response to a petition brought by the mother of a teenage girl who was killed in 2020 by a speeding driver.

Angela Burke, whose 14-year-old daughter Courtney Ellis was killed by speeding driver Brandon Turton in 2020, posted the petition on the UK Parliament’s website in October.

Turton, 21, was subsequently jailed for six years and nine months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, and banned from driving for seven years.

In her petition, Ms Bourke wrote:

I would like to change the law on ‘if you are convicted for causing death by dangerous driving then a lifetime driving ban should be imposed’, they should never be allowed to drive again.

My child was killed by a speeding driver, Who was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. My child suffered horrific instant death injuries, the driver was driving at speeds of 73-93mph when he hit her on a 30mph road, he was sentenced to 9 years minus 25% reduction for going guilty also given a 7 year driving ban to start immediately, when he’s released he will have 4 years ban left. Driving is a luxury and it should be taken away if convicted of this crime. I've lost my child forever.

The petition passed 10,000 signatures last month, meaning the government is required to give a response.

Should it gather 100,000 signatures, the issue will be considered for a House of Commons debate by the Backbench Business Committee.

In its response to the petition, published yesterday, the Department for Transport (DfT) said that it “takes road safety seriously and keeps the motoring offences under review. That is why a Call for Evidence is being considered.”

It said that it road safety “is at the core of the Department for Transport’s agenda,” and that “ministers are aware of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Angela’s daughter and extend their deepest sympathy to her family and loved ones.”

The response continued: “Every road death and injury is a tragedy for the families and communities affected, and we are working hard to implement policies to help reduce the number of casualties on our roads.

“We are strengthening legislation, and how it is enforced. We have completed the biggest overhaul of the Highway Code in decades in 2022, so that vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists have priority in certain situations.

“In 2022, we also tightened up the law governing hand-held mobile phone use while driving, so that the police are able to enforce this dangerous offence more easily. We have also increased the is qualification period for those who cause death by dangerous driving or careless driving when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“But we are aware that more needs to be done. We keep the law under review and listen to the concerns of those affected by tragic cases of death or serious injury.

“That is why the government is considering a Call for Evidence on motoring offences. While the potential scope and timings are being confirmed, it is expected it will include issues around drink and drug driving, and the offence of failure to stop and report.

“There may also be the opportunity to highlight other areas of concern. I would encourage you to respond to it when the time comes,” the DfT added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment


jaysa | 279 posts | 7 months ago

In France, police are able to confiscate your vehicle and/or licence at the roadside for serious offences: <linky>
- serious road accident
- refusal to stop for the police
- driving while uninsured/unlicensed/under influence
- driving at more than 30mph over the limit

At trial, you either get your vehicle back or it is scrapped or sold.

When this catches Brits on autoroutes, there is much harrumphing from the Daily Fail.

Question: why not here too? Enough of this 'I need my car' crap.

mattw | 723 posts | 7 months ago

A note that there is also currently a Parliamentary Enquiry into accessible transport, which will tend to focus on detailed but important technical things, perhaps like drop kerbs, tactile paving, kneeling and accessible train stations (which is nonetheless a biggie).

But strategic points like a road system which uses uncontrolled crossings across multiple lanes at traffic islands designed for maximum speed entry and exit, requiring N KSIs before a safe crossing is put in, and non-adherence to national guidelines also need to be made.

Plus there is an overlap between anti-disabled barriers and anti-cycling barriers, which is relevant. An important debate will be about bicycles as mobility aid, and potentially a mode on e-bikes, trikes etc for use on pavements at N mph (4 mph would be the same as mobility scooters).

There are also various virulently anti-cycling groups around, which will be trying to set it up as disabled vs cyclists, especially around bus stop bypasses which for some are a fixation.

Enquiry and evidence submission link is here:


Gimpl | 246 posts | 7 months ago
1 like

Completely understand the sentinment however don't think in reality it will make a huge difference. 

You only have to watch Traffic Cops on TV to get a sense that a large percentage of them either don't have licenses anyway or have been banned before. 

Scrotes are always scrotes!

Bungle_52 | 691 posts | 7 months ago

The following limk sums things up far better than I ever could.

It contains the classic :

"The need for such a review appeared to be acknowledged back in May 2014, when the then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP announced the Government’s intention to launch “a full review of all driving offences and penalties”, stating that he “wanted to make our roads safer”. The review didn't happen."

May 2014! And in Feb 2023 “That is why the government is considering a Call for Evidence on motoring offences."

Considering a call for evidence! Government in this country has become the art of kicking cans down the road to concentrate on vote winning slogans.

The only positive I can take from this is " will include....the offence of failure to stop and report." which needs a serious overhaul. Having said that they have had two chances to debate this already but have declined to act because of the problem of not stopping when a wing mirror has been damaged. This is obviously an intractable problem. Utter shambles.

chrisonatrike | 6799 posts | 7 months ago

As usual - prevention is hugely better than attempts at redress.  Though we can certainly do better I think there's a limit to "police it safer".

I would like to see this as part of the comprehensive review of road law...

Lastly - before you can go to criminal court, you need to have located a defendant.

There's a chain to follow before this could have an effect.  The police have to decide to do something (rather than saying "accident" or "probably brought this on themselves").  Next they have to locate evidence.  Then they have to pass this to the CPS or at least ask for advice. (There is at least one case where police simply didn't to this).

Then the CPS have to decide to run it.  Then they have to select an appropriate charge.  The default seems to be "we'll take the lowest category of offense if the other side will plead guilty - and probably that anyway because we don't think we'll succeed beyond that in these cases".

We haven't got to court yet...

Like all these efforts if it could be done as well as something more effective it would seem to make sense.  I just wonder whether it will have much effect - for reasons others have pointed out in the comments - even when things do get this far.

IanMSpencer | 1909 posts | 7 months ago

So many fixes needed:

- momentary lapse defence should be banned;

- the distinction between careless and dangerous should be codified so there are practical tests a judge and jury can use, for example, a major fail on a driving test should be considered dangerous, a minor, careless. So simply exceeding the speed limit could be dangerous rather than careless in the event of an incident.

- drop the exceptional hardship excuse for avoiding a ban. It takes multiple offences to tot up. The failure to mend your ways should be taken as evidence that opportunities to reform have already been ignored.

- deliberate threats and acts of violence using a vehicle should have punishments scaled as if it were an offensive weapon such as a knife or gun.

Bmblbzzz replied to IanMSpencer | 633 posts | 7 months ago

IanMSpencer wrote:

- drop the exceptional hardship excuse for avoiding a ban. It takes multiple offences to tot up. The failure to mend your ways should be taken as evidence that opportunities to reform have already been ignored. -

This is the place to begin if they're thinking about bans. 12 points and you're out, simple arithmetic, no excuses.

mctrials23 replied to Bmblbzzz | 152 posts | 7 months ago

Its such a bizarre rule. "Yes I did get caught caught speeding 4 times but you have to understand that I really care for my family and it would cause us a lot of hardship if I couldn't drive. Oh no I didn't care about them enough not to speed and put other peoples family at risk of having their lives ruined" 

jaysa | 279 posts | 7 months ago

"We are strengthening legislation, and how it is enforced" - HoHo I wish.

At least 35,000 drivers have over 12 points on their licence and have kept their licence having pleaded exceptional hardship. <Linky>

And the judicial system can't even say "Tough, should have thought about that before driving".

This is Government window dressing ...

Secret_squirrel | 3194 posts | 7 months ago

Sooo many caveats. Nothing is gonna happen. 
let's face it they've pushed legalisation of escooters back to 2024. 
There is no chance these sorry sacks or Tory arse will do anything. 

mattsccm replied to Secret_squirrel | 513 posts | 7 months ago
1 like

Nowt to do with politics. Many a socialist has objected to fines etc for the "working class" as they are struggling to make ends meet anyway. Consider if you will that all politians are by design corrupt . They all push their view over that of those the so called represent.

Anyway, to the point. All our punishments are way to soft. Of course voluntary restraint  would be best but it doesn't happen. I would make any deaths result in life. Full life! Speeding should be a minimum of £1000 per mph over the limit. Plus a ban, say a month per mph with an auto year if, say , more than 5 mph.  If we have a law, breakers must be punished harshly. I bet that huge fines would actually pay for a seperate traffic policing system. 

kil0ran | 2914 posts | 7 months ago

So no action then. By the time it launches we'll be in the final year of this current Parliament and it will die or get kicked into the long grass.

Latest Comments