Proposed legislation would see life sentences handed down to careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs, as well as three-year jail terms introduced for those driving without care and attention who cause serious injury.
Intended to deter dangerous driving behaviour, the move would see drivers who cause death by speeding or while using a mobile phone face the same sentences as people charged with manslaughter.
The current maximum limit for those guilty of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is 14 years.
The announcement was made just weeks after a lorry driver was found guilty of killing a mother and three children while scrolling through music selections on his mobile phone.
Tomasz Kroker drove into stationary traffic on the A34 near Newbury at 50mph. The court was told he had barely looked at the road for almost a kilometre before the crash. Mr Kroker was jailed for 10 years.
In 2015, 122 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 21 convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence.
Announcing the proposed changes, Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said the Government’s message is clear: “If you drive dangerously and kill on our roads, you could face a life sentence.”
A consultation on the proposals is open until 1 February 2017.