Disqualified drivers who cause death or injury on the roads are to face tougher penalties under new changes to the law.
Currently, a driver convicted of causing death using a motor vehicle faces a sentence of two years – this will be raised to 10 years in the case of a driver who is already serving a ban.
A new offence of causing serious injury while disqualified is also to be introduced, and will carry a four-year penalty.
The changes to the law, which will come into effect in early 2015, have been brought about in response to concerns raised by victims’ families over the leniency of current sentencing guidelines.
Making the announcement, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said a review into sentencing of other driving offences was to occur, including drink-driving and driving without insurance or a licence, to ensure those who endangered the lives of others were suitably dealt with.
He said: "I want to make our roads safer and ensure people who cause harm face tough penalties” the BBC reports.
"Disqualified drivers should not be on our roads for good reason. Those who choose to defy a ban imposed by a court and go on to destroy innocent lives must face serious consequences for the terrible impact of their actions.
"Today, we are sending a clear message that anyone who does will face much tougher punishment."
Labour welcomed the proposed reforms, but warned that the move could put yet more stress on the UK’s already over-burdened prisons.
The new law will affect motorists in England, Scotland and Wales of which 8,200 were convicted for driving while disqualified in 2012. Drivers in Northern Ireland are governed by a separate system for road traffic offences.