The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act gives Judges the option of imposing life sentences to dangerous drivers who have killed others while behind the wheel. They will be able to do the same with careless drivers who have done the same while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Current rules only allow a maximum penalty of 14 years.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said “reckless behaviour” could now be punished with a whole life term.
He said: “Too many lives have been lost to reckless behaviour behind the wheel, devastating families.
“We have changed the law so that those responsible will now face the possibility of life behind bars.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation said drivers exhibiting the “worst” behaviour deserved the “stiffest penalties”.
He said: “Drivers exhibiting the worst behaviour on the roads are a danger to us all.
“Those who behave with disregard to the risk they pose deserve the stiffest penalties when their actions rob others of their lives.
“Involuntary manslaughter already carries a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment so it is hard to argue that killing someone with a car doesn’t warrant a possible sanction of similar severity.”
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Up to now only the 12 sworn jurors were allowed to go into the deliberation room.
This effectively prevented people suffering with hearing loss from taking part.
Mr Raab hailed the change saying that it would allow more deaf people the opportunity to undertake an “important civic duty”.
He added: “The right to be judged by your peers dates back to Magna Carta, and is a cornerstone of our justice system.
“We’re changing the law so that many more deaf people have the opportunity to carry out this important civic duty.”