MP repeats call for death by dangerous driving law reforms following campaign by family of young St Helens road smash victim

Violet-Grace Youens
Violet-Grace Youens

An MP who backed a campaign to reform sentences for death by dangerous driving started by the parents of a St Helens girl killed in a horror crash has renewed her call for the Government to come good on its promise.

West Lancashire parliamentary representative Rosie Cooper was one of a number of politicians to sign a letter calling for a fresh commitment to making the changes after almost two years without progress.

Rosie Cooper MP

Rosie Cooper MP

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The letter is addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the Queen's Speech.

Ms Cooper joined neighbouring MPs earlier this year at the Westminster Hall Debate on an e-petition relating to dangerous driving, started by the parents of Violet-Grace Youens, the four-year-old girl killed by a speeding car in St Helens in 2017.

The Government has also promised to create the new driving offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.

The letter states: "The time has finally come for the Government to act on its promises. It would certainly go a long way to restoring the faith of these bereaved families if such changes were outlined in the Queen’s Speech as part of the Government’s agenda for the coming parliamentary session.

“I know you will agree that such an occasion is a fitting one to indicate the importance and urgency that these reforms merit, given that they could finally correct the law on sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.

"These reforms would ensure some form of justice for the families affected and hopefully act as a deterrent to prevent other tragic cases. These reforms are long overdue and it is imperative that they be included in the upcoming Queen’s Speech.”

In the debate on the Youens' family's petition, Ms Cooper said: "

The Government promised to introduce life sentences for death by dangerous driving and to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving two years ago.

“Many families across this country including my constituent whose daughter was mown down in 2016 by a driver who received a fine of £500 and no jail sentence, all these people are waiting for these promises to become law.”

In the wake of the letter's publication Ms Cooper added: "It is clear there is a desire for change both from the public across the country and from MPs in Parliament, but the Ministry of Justice has so far failed to make any progress on introducing the new minimum sentence or creating the new offence.

“Government needs to get a move on and act now to ensure appropriate punishments are handed down to offenders, and also in the hope that tougher sentences will deter these careless and reckless drivers, save lives and reduce instances of serious injury caused.

“Victims want to see justice and for no other families to go through what they have had to experience, that is why I have joined with colleagues to call on the Prime Minister to make clear in his Queen’s Speech that these reforms will come through urgently and be a key priority alongside the Domestic Abuse Bill, Leasehold Reform and many, many other issues."