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The Highway Code has been updated for July 2022 after tougher sentences were brought in for drivers who kill someone



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Tougher punishments for drivers who kill someone have now been added to an updated version of the Highway Code.

The universal guide for UK road users has been altered this week because of a change in the law that means there are now stiffer sentences for those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, which were officially applied on June 28, mean judges can now hand down heftier penalties for those who harm someone when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Drivers found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs now face longer in prison. Image: iStock.
Drivers found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs now face longer in prison. Image: iStock.

Maximum sentences for both of these offences have increased from 14 year in prison to life imprisonment while the obligatory disqualification period has increased from a minimum of two years to now a minimum of five years.

The Highway Code has also been changed to add to it a new driving offence - which has also been created as part of the changes - causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

This means that those who inflict long-term or permanent injuries also now face a prison sentence, an unlimited fine and an obligatory driving disqualification.

The tougher sentences were brought in this summer. Image: Stock photo.
The tougher sentences were brought in this summer. Image: Stock photo.

Speaking when the rules came into force for the first time on June 28, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: "Too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families.

"We have changed the law so that those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars."

In January this year the Highway Code underwent one of its biggest ever changes when it introduced a 'hierarchy of road users' to its rules guidelines.

The changes now place a greater responsibility on those on the road who have the potential to cause the most harm, with drivers of heavy good vehicles, cars and motorcycles leading the list.

Other updates included allowing cyclists to ride side by side or in the centre of a lane if it is quiet and safe to do so, giving pedestrians right of way when crossing a junction and giving cyclists priority at roundabouts.



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