Voice of the People – Time is up for road killers who wield lethal weapons

When we look back in ­generations to come, one of the things that will baffle people is the number of deaths on the road.

Every year we see thousands of lives taken in the blink of an eye.

Of course there are accidents. That’s a fact of life.

But the most heartbreaking and unimaginable deaths are those that could be avoided.

For years now, charities have called for a toughening of rules.

Dangerous driving was upgraded. Sentences were made harsher.

But the lesser charge of careless driving still carries the same too-lenient penalty.

We understand the complexities of sentencing. There are mitigating factors in some crimes, like intent.

But careless driving urgently needs to be re-examined. Killing someone with a vehicle is not careless.

When you take someone’s life the sentence should reflect that.

You are in charge of a machine that can kill. That brings with it responsibility.

Dean Phoenix, a lorry driver, jumped a red light and little Jaiden Mangan died the day before his fourth birthday.

Phoenix got 12 months. He will serve six.

Jaiden’s mum Yasmin said: “Someone in charge of a lorry is someone in charge of a lethal weapon.”

And offenders should be given the same treatment as if they had wielded one.

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