For years legal eagles have been frustrated by their inability to give those who kill other road users harsh sentences, but that will change within months
Killer drivers will be punished with life sentences under new legislation next year.
Judges will be able to give motorists convicted of causing death by dangerous driving the toughest punishment in UK law.
This includes motorists who take a life while speeding, racing or using their mobile phones. Life sentences will also be introduced for causing death by careless driving while drunk or on drugs.
Announcing the changes as part of wider reforms, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: “Punishments must fit the crime but too often families tell us this isn’t the case with killer drivers.”
Previously, killer drivers could only be sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in prison.
Elliott Bower, 19, got 11-and-a-half years for killing four when he crashed into a people carrier at 79mph in Sheffield in 2018.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC expressed frustration that he could not issue a lengthy sentence.
Other proposed reforms include changing the law so that teenage killers of children will face a lifetime behind bars in the biggest shake-up of sentencing for 20 years.
A move to include 18 to 20-year-olds in whole life orders was one of the sweeping changes unveiled this weekend by the Government.
Other teen killers’ life sentences will no longer be reviewed every two years. This will spare their victims’ families having to relive their heartbreaking ordeals repeatedly.
It means murderer Sean Mercer, who shot 11-year-old Liverpool lad Rhys Jones in 2007, will have to serve the full 22-year minimum term handed down when he was 16.
The same applies to the killers of sales manager Garry Newlove, beaten to death the same year by youths he confronted vandalising his wife’s car in Warrington, Cheshire.