KILLER drivers face life sentences as a long-delayed crackdown is finally introduced by the new Government.
Motorists who cause carnage while speeding, drinking or chatting on mobiles will be hit with tougher punishment under the plans.
The new Justice Secretary has told Boris Johnson a new law must be introduced soon as it was announced almost two years ago but never brought in.
Robert Buckland believes the families of victims have been let down by the long delay since the pledge was first made.
A source told The Sun tonight: “This will be a priority.”
Under the current law, the maximum jail term for death by dangerous driving is 14 years but many killers are spared jail or get short sentences.
The plan is to introduce life sentences – meaning offenders can be recalled to prison at any time if they commit another crime – for death by dangerous driving and also anyone found guilty of death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs. A new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will also be introduced.
Ministers were urged to bring forward the law this week by an MP who raised the tragic case of grandmother Jackie Wileman, who was killed by a speeding stolen lorry. The four men in the HGV had nearly 100 convictions between them – but will only serve between five and seven years behind bars.
Stephanie Peacock told the Commons: “It is now nearly two years since the Government committed to raising the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving, so will the new Administration make this a priority, and when exactly will the new Leader of the House make parliamentary time available for this?”
New Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted: “I have every sympathy for families in this terrible, terrible situation who feel that the law is not helping them.”
Earlier this month MPs discussed the call for tougher sentences after more than 150,000 people signed a petition started by the parents of Violet-Grace Youens. The four-year-old was killed in a horrific hit-and-run by Aidan McAteer, but he will serve less than five years in jail.
Her mum and dad want killer drivers to serve at least 15 years behind bars as well as getting a life sentence under what would be known as Violet-Grace’s Law.
Mr Buckland – then Prisons Minister – told the debate it was then a matter of “bitter regret” that he could not give a date for the introduction of the bill.
But he added: “Today’s debate will be used as an important platform to indicate the degree of concern, impatience and anger that people now feel about the delay. It certainly reinforces me in my determination to get the matter sorted out.”
Violet-Grace Youens, killed aged four
VIOLET-Grace Youens, four, died after being mown down by a hit-and-run driver as she and her grandmother crossed a road.
She and Angela French were struck by a stolen Ford Focus going at 80mph through St Helens, Merseyside, two years ago.
Driver Aidan McAteer, 23, was jailed for nine years and four months.
It emerged this month McAteer convinced the judge to have the victim statement of Violet-Grace’s parents changed to spare his feelings.
Jackie Wileman, killed aged 58
GRAN Jackie Wileman, 58, was killed by four career criminals “joyriding” in a stolen lorry.
Jackie was hit by an HGV that was going almost twice the 30mph speed limit in Barnsley, West Yorks, last year.
The four had nearly 100 convictions including causing death by dangerous driving.
Driver Karn Hill admitted death by dangerous driving and got 10½ years in years while David Mellor, who was on probation, got 13. Passengers Wayne Carroll and Alan Mawhinney were each jailed for 12½ years.