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Victim's family: 'We were very insulted by the sentence'

The parents of a 14-year-old who was killed by a driver on drugs as she crossed the road said they were "very insulted" by the eight weeks he served in prison.

Natasha and Gary Groves lost their daughter Lillian when she was struck by a car travelling at 40mph.

The uninsured motorist was initially given four months and banned from driving for two years after he was found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

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'Over 3/4' want tougher sentences for drivers who kill

  • 82% thought sentences should be higher for drivers who kill.
  • 81% reckoned if you kill or seriously injure someone when taking any kind of illegal risk at the wheel, you should be considered "dangerous" not "careless" in the eyes of the law.
  • 85% said drivers who kill while they were drink or drug-driving (85%) should get five years or more in prison.
  • Some 66% supported such sentences for those who caused a death through speeding.
  • 64% saying the same about those who kill while on their phone.
  • Almost all (95%) thought penalties should be tougher for killer drivers who flee the scene.

Drivers who cause death 'should be jailed for five years'

Motorists who kill on British roads should be behind bars for at least five years, the majority of motorists who took part in a road safety survey have said.

Read: Drunk driver who confessed on viral video jailed for 6 1/2 years

Driver
Brake said current measures to punish dangerous drivers were "inadequate". Credit: PA

Read: Brother's tribute to M62 victim

Some 82% of the 1000 drivers quizzed by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line said they wanted tougher sentencing for motorists who cause death on the roads.

Brake said the latest Government figures showed 62% of those convicted of killing someone through risky driving were jailed and only 9% got sentences of five years or more.

Deputy chief executive of Brake Julie Townsend said: "We want the Government to acknowledge how inadequate current charges and penalties are and take action to prevent traumatised families suffering further insult.

"Denying justice to victim families often has a terrible impact on their ability to rebuild and move forward with their lives."

Read: Survey: A third of drivers nodded off behind the wheel

Eating while driving 'dramatically' raises crash chance

Motorists who eat while driving "dramatically increase" their chance of crashing their vehicle and seriously injuring someone, a road safety charity has said.

Brake are calling on the Government to raise fines for distracted and careless drivers and their deputy chief executive Julie Townsend explained:

Eating at the wheel often means taking your eyes, hands and mind off the road and dramatically increases your chances of crashing and killing or seriously injuring someone.

Drivers need to take regular breaks and make time away from their vehicles to enjoy lunch or perform other tasks.

We are also appealing to the Government to increase fines for distraction and careless driving offences, to stop risky multi-tasking drivers.

– Julie Townsend, Brake

More motorists eating while driving, experts warn

The number of drivers who eat behind the wheel has risen over the last twelve months, research has shown.

Read: Controversial Wetherspoons pub opens on M40 motorway

Driving
Drivers are putting themselves and other road users at risk by eating behind the wheel, experts said. Credit: PA

At least 29% of the 1,000 drivers quizzed by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line admitted to opening and eating food while on the road.

A further 33% said they had eaten food while driving but only after it was unwrapped and passed to them by another passenger.

Some 2% said they had narrowly avoided a crash, and were forced to brake or swerve to dodge a hazard because they had been distracted by food or drink.

Five per cent have shaved, combed hair or applied make-up in free-flowing traffic, while 15% have carried out personal grooming while their vehicle was stationary.

Read: Survey: A third of drivers have nodded off behind the wheel

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Clegg 'won't back bid to ban smoking in cars with kids'

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has suggested a proposal to ban smoking in cars carrying children would be comparable to trying to legislate to stop a child watching too much TV or drinking too many fizzy drinks.

The Deputy Prime Minister made it clear he would not back such a ban after the Labour plan was approved last night by the House of Lords.

File photo of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the LBC radio studio.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he does not see how such a ban would be enforced. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Clegg said: "Of course it is a stupid thing to do to smoke in a car with kids in the back, of course it is - in the same way you shouldn't give your children a can of Coke before going to bed or only feed them on crisps breakfast, lunch and supper.

"I think you shouldn't legislate unless you think it is going to make a difference, and I don't see how this is going to be enforced. "

Read: Smoking in cars carrying children could be banned following Lords vote

PM 'ready to listen to the arguments' on smoking in cars

Downing Street said David Cameron was ready to "listen to the arguments" about a ban on smoking in cars that are carrying children.

Close up of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Prime Minister David Cameron 'wants to listen to the arguments' on banning smoking in cars with children. Credit: Luke MacGregor/PA Wire

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a media briefing, "This is an issue that is going to be discussed and debated in Parliament today, and the Prime Minister's view is that he wants to listen to the arguments."

Read: Labour attempts to ban smoking in cars carrying children

Smoking in cars with children banned in some countries

Smoking in cars that are carrying children has already been banned in some states of Canada, Australia and the US and the whole of South Africa.

A man holds a cigarette while at the wheel of a car.
Labour hopes to impose a ban on smoking in cars that are carrying children in England. Credit: Clive Gee/PA Wire

Canada's Cancer Advisory Coalition claims the states' bans on smoking in cars have reduced children's exposure to second-hand smoke by 33%.

Read: Labour attempts to ban smoking in cars carrying children

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