Your Local MP: November 2017
I WANT to use this month’s column to update local residents on recent developments surrounding the Justice 4 Ross & Clare campaign and changes to the law regarding dangerous driving.
I WANT to use this month’s column to update local residents on recent developments surrounding the Justice 4 Ross & Clare campaign and changes to the law regarding dangerous driving. Readers will well remember the tragic incident which took place on Hanham Road in January 2013 where Ross & Clare Simons were killed by a disqualified driver who had 11 existing convictions for dangerous driving and for driving whilst disqualified. Devastating incidents such as this affect us all and have a lasting impact on our local communities. I believe that the sentence which is passed on such reckless actions should properly reflect the loss of two innocent lives. Therefore, I have long campaigned to see that the law changed in this area so that bereaved families can see justice served for those criminals who continue to flout the law – arguing that the maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving should be life imprisonment.
Over the past five years I have stood alongside Ross & Clare’s family and have consistently raised this issue at the highest levels of Government - I met with the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, the Secretary of State for Justice and in 2014 I raised the issue in a Parliamentary debate which led to a change in the law - introducing stricter sentences for drivers who kill whilst disqualified. I have been humbled by the level of local support from Hanham and Longwell Green residents and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who took the time to sign the 15,000 signature petition which I handed to 10 Downing Street alongside Ross and Clare’s family in 2014.
As some people may already know, last week the Ministry of Justice announced that it will be bringing forward proposals to amend the existing laws surrounding dangerous driving in order to make them stricter and to increase sentences for dangerous drivers. These proposed changes will include increasing the maximum sentence for dangerous driving offences from 14 years to life as well as bringing stricter laws into force covering careless driving whilst using a mobile phone or whilst under the influence of drugs. This represents a significant step forwards for the Justice 4 Ross & Clare campaign and for the families involved and sends a clear message to dangerous drivers about the consequences of driving in a way which endangers others on the road. The new offences will ensure that those who kill through reckless driving will face sentences which properly reflect the terrible damage and harm which they cause to families and local communities and I’d like to thank the families of Ross & Clare for their dedication and hard work in securing these changes. This is their victory – ensuring that, despite the cruel loss of their loved ones, they fought bravely to ensure that something positive is achieved – potentially saving the lives of others in the process.
As ever, if readers are ever in need of assistance, or if you would like to book a surgery appointment, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with me at my office in Hanham on 0117 908 15 24 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stay up to date with my local work by visiting my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chrisskidmoreofficial/.
With all best wishes,