Banned drivers who continue to get behind the wheel and end up injuring someone "face serious consequences", the Justice Secretary has said.
Chris Grayling announced plans for tougher sentencing for disqualified drivers who kill behind the wheel and said:
I want to make our roads safer and ensure people who cause harm face tough penalties.
Disqualified drivers should not be on our roads for good reason. Those who chose to defy a ban imposed by a court and go on to destroy innocent lives must face serious consequences for the terrible impact of their actions.
Today, we are sending a clear message that anyone who does will face much tougher punishment.
Longer jail sentences will be handed down to disqualified drivers who get behind the wheel while banned and kill someone, the Government has announced.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling wants offenders who defy bans to face up to 10 years behind bars if they cause death and four years for serious injuries, under reforms introduced next year.
Mr Grayling defended the plans by saying they would send a clear message to drivers who flout bans and "go on to destroy innocent lives".
The current maximum sentence faced by a driver who causes death while driving when disqualified is two years in jail and there is no specific offence of causing serious injury while banned
A third of Britain's drivers are unfamiliar with basic road signs, while many others are prone to speeding, a new survey suggests.Read the full story ›
A survey from road safety charity Brake has found 78% of the public support the introduction of 20mph zones to residential areas.Read the full story ›
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.
- 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.
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.
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."
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.
The number of drivers who eat behind the wheel has risen over the last twelve months, research has shown.
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.
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.
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. "