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2020 New Driving Offences Sentencing Guidelines: What To Be Aware Of

Oct 14, 2020

Here at Anthony Jones we blog frequently about any changes being made to sentencing guidelines with regards to driving offences. We know how important it is for fleet businesses to be up to date with current guidelines and any changes.

Your business must ensure that employees who drive for work are well aware of driving related penalties and consequences. Here we look at discussions currently ongoing in 2020 regarding new driving offences and sentencing guidelines. We look at what changes may come into force next year and the importance of updating your driver policies and procedures to reflect any changes made to sentencing guidelines.

2020 new driving offences sentencing guidelines

First discussed in 2017, a proposed law change relating to sentencing guidelines for drivers who kill others looks set to be brought forward early next year.

The plans for sentencing guideline changes, proposed in 2017 centre around:

  • Introducing life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving, and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs. Sentencing is currently a maximum of 14 years.
  • Drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone could face sentences equivalent to manslaughter. Maximum penalties could be increased from 14 years to life.
  • The creation of a new offence – causing serious injury through careless driving. Currently, without this specific offence in existence, offenders can only be convicted of a careless driving offence that has a maximum penalty of a fine.

These changes to sentencing form part of a wider review of sentencing guidelines being carried out by the government. Whilst no exact date has been given for the changes to be made as yet, the government have stated that they will bring forward the proposed legislation changes next year.

Why must your fleet business be aware of new driving offences and sentencing guidelines?

As a fleet business, or an employer who employees people to drive for work, you must keep on top of driving offences and related sentencing guidelines.

You have a duty of care to your employees. You must educate and train them on the risks of driving, their responsibilities and risk management in a bid to reduce the dangers of driving.

You must have robust policies and procedures relating to driving for work in place across your business. And these must be up to date and reflect current penalties and consequences of driving related risks.

Driving under the influence of drugs, under the influence of drink, when speeding, racing and using a mobile phone all look set to soon attract much tougher sentences to reflect the harm that can be caused by engaging in these behaviours. Make sure your specific policies reflect these changes when they do come into force and ensure that your drivers are aware of zero tolerance policies to these behaviours which exist across your business.

At Anthony Jones we work with all of our customers not just on their insurance needs, but also on their approach to risk management. For fleet businesses and those who work in the transport and logistics sector, risk management forms an integral part of a business’s ability to obtain the insurance that they need. Insurers are more likely to be receptive to a  business when you can demonstrate the right focus and importance is placed on risk management. For more information get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9099 or email us at commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

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