Police roads chief wants tougher sentences to deter bad driving

The head of roads policing in the UK is calling for greater punishments for motoring offences to cut the number of people driving dangerously.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner made the comments during an interview for this week’s Highways Voices podcast, to be published on Wednesday.

She wants increased sentences, which both magistrates and other courts can give, but also greater sentences.

“If you actually compare some of the sentences that drivers who do kill people, because of their way in which they drive on the roads, versus maybe some other crimes in society, predominantly, you see that those sentences are lower,” she said.  “And that’s just one example where I think families are not feeling that they do get the justice that sometimes they deserve.”

In the wide-ranging discussion, she talks introducing a graduated driving license, eCall, and technology, both inside the vehicle and on the roadside.

“I think safety cameras are always going to be hugely controversial,” she concedes.  “I don’t think they’ll ever be a time that they’re not. I think they’re like Marmite in society – some people completely appreciate the need for them, and we have many communities who asked for them.

“If I speak locally, in Sussex, we have a high number of cars, of sports cars, and bikers who come to visit the coast in the weekends, for example, and there’s little doubt that the communities through which they drive really do on average speed cameras and other safety cameras to assist them to reduce both the noise and also the speed of that traffic, but then there are others who will persistently put pictures of where the safety cameras are, whether it’s on Facebook or other social media, almost to say this is here, and almost make it ineffective.”

Chief Constable Shiner also talks new technology to spot things like drunk-driving, the roads policing strategy and why, even when you’re driving perfectly safely and legally, if you see traffic police, for some reason you feel guilty!

Highways Voices is available from 9.30 on Wednesday.

(Picture courtesy of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner)


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