AVZBlog (Jan23) – MPs hear of the need to tackle hit-and-run laws: Remain and Report update

To download this blog as a pdf click here

Key points

  • MPs met with families of those bereaved in hit-and-run drivers, at an event on 18th January 2023 hosted by Rachel Mclean, MP Redditch[i] in Parliament.

MPs received copies of our new report, Holding hit-and-run drivers to account, explaining the four key calls:

  1. New criminal offences – Failing to remain at the scene of a fatal/serious injury collision.
  2. A reasonable maximum reporting time to be reduced from 24 hours to two hours.
  3. Immediate license suspensions for those arrested on serious motoring offences.
  4. Appropriate terminology with the new charges referring to collision or crash, not accident as there is nothing accidental about choosing to abandon someone injured or killed in a crash.
  • MPs also were given a leaflet How MPs can help which included key questions to ask.

Our Remain and Report campaign is lobbying for the Department for Transport (DfT) to hold their consultation on hit-and-run reform. The gaps need to be closed but this requires consultation.

On 18th January 2023, Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, hosted a parliamentary event for MText

Description automatically generated with low confidencePs to learn about the loopholes in the justice system with hit-and-run. They met with bereaved families and heard first-hand accounts of how the current legal system was allowing illegal and impaired drivers to escape justice.

The DfT was expected to launch a consultation on hit-and-run last summer but has yet to do so.  This consultation is much needed as there is much around hit-and-run that is not straight forward.

We began our Remain and Report campaign in 2021 calling for new offences that recognised that a driver leaving someone seriously, if not fatally, injured is drastically different than leaving the scene where a car’s bumper had been hit. Our current laws fail to recognise this difference.

We felt our son’s life was treated like a broken wing mirror, the justice system failed him”.

Helen and Mark Saltern, parents of Ryan, killed in hit-and-run in 2019.

We met with bereaved families, police, and solicitors. We were urged to also tackle the reporting time that is allowed which is currently set at a maximum of 24 hours. This figure was fixed over 35 years ago in 1988 when our communications system was very different. And what about passengers? What happens when they refuse to say which one was driving? This cannot be a way to escape justice.

These are some of the issues we have urged DfT to consult on. We have suggested using the maximum custodial sentences of that for Causing Death/Serious Injury by Disqualified Driving – a maximum 10 years for death and four years for serious injury. A long driving ban should be mandatory.

How you can help

Email your MPs the documents mentioned above. They should have already received them but you can help make sure they did. Urge them to encourage DfT to launch the consultation into hit-and-run.

For more information, contact Amy@ActionVisionZero.org for more ideas and information.

Remain and Report is a volunteer led campaign coordinated by Lucy Harrison, RoadPeace West Midlands, and Amy Aeron-Thomas, Action Vision Zero Traffic Justice Coordinator.

[i] Rachel Maclean has been a strong supporter of the Remain and Report campaign, co-founded by Lucy Harrison, one of her constituents. Lucy is the RoadPeace local group West Midlands coordinator. She became involved with RoadPeace after her brother Peter was killed by a driver who failed to remain at the scene in 2014.

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