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 road.cc 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.