Driving bans after death or serious injury crashes backed by 77%, survey finds

More than three out of four people support automatic driving bans for those who cause a death or serious injury on the road, a new survey suggests.

Some 77% of respondents said drivers convicted of causing a serious injury should lose their licence for a minimum period of time, rising to 83% for drivers who kill, according to research commissioned by charity Cycling UK.

Under current laws, someone convicted of causing death by dangerous driving faces a mandatory ban for a minimum of two years.

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However, Ministry of Justice figures from 2017 show 61 drivers convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving escaped a direct ban while 28 convicted of causing death by careless driving were not directly disqualified.

The survey of 2,123 UK adults also suggested 83% of people support drivers involved in a serious-injury crash having to pass an additional driving test to prove they are safe on the road.

Mandatory retesting only currently exists for those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.

About nine out of 10 (91%) respondents with a driving licence classified themselves as “careful and competent”, despite 52% saying they have driven over a 20mph speed limit and 57% over a 30mph limit.

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Some 58% also admitted to speeding through a traffic light when an amber light is turning to red.

Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore said: “It’s clear the public believe that drivers who have presented the most danger to others should be removed from our roads, but they’re less clear about what amounts to risky behaviour.

“While 91% of respondents with a full driving licence thought they were ‘competent and careful’ drivers, over half of them admitted to speeding on roads with 30mph limits and 20mph limits, the latter usually being imposed around schools, hospitals and where our children walk and play.

“If so many people are unable to recognise that speeding in such areas presents risks, and that they’re not driving carefully and competently when doing so, it’s no surprise that our laws around careless and dangerous driving are in such a mess.”

Mr Dollimore called for a “clearer, objective standard for the driving we expect on our roads” to be introduced in road traffic laws.

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