According to the Ministry of Justice’s just published statistics, 419 drivers were convicted of causing a death in England and Wales in 2016, an increase of 31% from the 321 in 2015.
Source: MoJ (2017), Criminal Justice System statistics quarterly: December 2016
Prosecutions for Causing death by dangerous driving rose from 188 in 2015 to 229 in 2016, the highest since 2009, and over 50% more than the low of 144 in 2013.
But only 69% of the Causing death by dangerous driving prosecutions were successful. So many of these prosecutions for Causing death by dangerous driving either failed completely or ended up as Causing death by careless driving convictions. Causing death by careless driving convictions (225) exceeded those for Causing death by dangerous driving (157) by 43%, and accounted for over 53% of all causing death by driving convictions.
These statistics reaffirm the need for a review of careless and dangerous driving. What the CPS and police see as dangerous is too often viewed as merely careless by juries.
As in previous years, RoadPeace will produce a fuller analysis, but we just wanted to highlight the news that causing death by driving prosecutions and convictions increased last year.
Our Lawless Roads report highlighted how prosecutions and convictions had fallen since 2010, and much faster than fatal collisions. With the cuts in police and CPS and pressure on courts, last year’s increase in prosecutions and convictions of causing death by driving is reassuring and a step in the right direction.