Rugby family's plea to change driving law could become reality

A Rugby family's campaign to change the law on dangerous driving in their daughter's memory is closer to being achieved.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 8:57 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 8:19 am
Mark Pawsey MP (centre) discussed the proposals for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers with the Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss MP (right) and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation, Sam Gyimah MP (left)

George and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson, who live in Hillmorton, have been campaigning to change the laws around dangerous driving after their 16-year-old daughter Livia was tragically killed in Enfield, north London in 1998 after a driver mounted the pavement.

Livia’s killer was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, but received only a fine. Since then, the couple have started campaigning and also set up the Livia Award in recognition of police officers’ work during road death investigations.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, The Secretary of State for Justice, Elizabeth Truss and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation Justice, Sam Gyimah, recently discussed proposals for stricter penalties.

Dangerous drivers who kill could face life sentences under the new plans .

The proposals would allow the courts to properly punish those driving dangerously and drivers causing death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone.

Offenders who also cause death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs could also get life sentences, an increase on the current 14 years.

MrPawsey said: “It has been a great privilege to support the Livia Awards and the work of the Galli-Atkinson’s. I was very keen to raise with my colleagues the importance of their campaign and the need to ensure that those who cause death by dangerous driving are properly held to account.”

Mr Galli-Atkinson said: “Since Livia’s death I have been involved with changes to legislation and road safety education. It is not just about banging people up but also educating a new generation of drivers.

“There are real malicious drivers out there who excessively speed, drive over the alcohol limit or on drugs and when they plead guilty they get sentences reduced. The proposals of life in prison could turn a few heads.”