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Express & Star speeding campaign raised in Parliament

By David Cosgrove | Walsall | News | Published:

A Government minister has hailed the Express & Star's 'Stop the Speeders' campaign in Parliament – and promised tougher sentences for killer drivers will be brought in.

Eddie Hughes MP raised the Express & Star campaign during a debate in Westminster

Rory Stewart made the vow during a debate sparked by Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes today.

The E&S campaign urges the Government to bring in tougher penalties for killer drivers.

The MoJ want to extend the maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving from 14 years in prison to a life sentence – and Mr Stewart said this 'needs to happen'.

Our campaign was launched on the back of two people being jailed for eight years each for killing victims on the road in the Black Country.

Mr Stewart confirmed the Government is 'working to find a time in the legislative agenda' to bring in life sentences for killer drivers.

He said: "I would like to pay tribute to the honourable member for Walsall North for bringing this debate to the House and also to the Express & Star and local Labour councillor Doug James who have done an enormous amount of work on this issue.

"We as a government have committed to increasing the penalty for death by dangerous driving to a life sentence.

"We are now working to find a time in the legislative agenda to bring that in – this needs to happen.

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"The fundamental reason this needs to happen is because families at the moment feel that the system is not just.

"They feel it's not fair to them and their experiences."

Georgie Evans

During the 30-minute debate in Westminster Hall, Mr Hughes hailed the 'Stop the Speeders' campaign and said: "The time has come for change and the Government must now make time available to implement this change."

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He also called for a new charge to be created – 'failing to stop following a fatal or serious injury crash' – after this was mooted by the road safety charity Brake.

The Walsall North MP said it was needed because 'at present, British law acts as an incentive for the worst law-breaking drivers to flee a crash if they kill someone'.

Mr Hughes called on the Government to 'listen to the thousands of people who have already backed the campaign by the Express & Star and listen to the call of Brake to create a new offence'.

He continued: "Let's work together to ensure that fewer families have to grieve the loss of loved ones – let's stop the speeders."

Among those killed by dangerous drivers were Georgie Evans, a former pupil of Kinver High School, who died when her car was hit by an Audi A6 driven by Kuba Oles.

The Polish immigrant was speeding along Priory Road in Dudley when it happened, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

The 24-year-old, of Beaconview Road, West Bromwich, was later jailed for six years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Meanwhile 21-year-old Rebecca McManus was waiting at a bus stop when Sukvinder Mannan, who was driving at 101mph, hit and killed her.

The fatal crash in Hagley Road West in Bearwood resulted in 34-year-old Mannan, from Halesowen, being jailed for eight years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Stewart concluded: "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the MPs who have campaigned tirelessly for this issue, which has been neglected by this House.

"That is why we will be bringing this legislation forward and also why I'd like to pay tribute again to [Eddie Hughes] and the Express & Star – and all the other MPs who have campaigned for this."

The two cases which sparked the E&S campaign were of Craig Edwards and Kade Scrivens, jailed for killing behind while the wheel.

Edwards, 29, of Cumberland Road in Walsall, was speeding when he killed grandfather John Hickinbottom in Walsall last June. He was over the drink drive limit.

On the same day, Scrivens, 24, of Booth Street, Handsworth, was jailed for killing 59-year-old Nicholas Harrison.

Scrivens lost control at a roundabout in Darlaston while speeding and hit Mr Harrison on November 22, before fleeing the scene.

A petition supporting the campaign can be signed at www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-killer-drivers-should-have-stiffer-sentences

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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