Date lodged: 6 December 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how the views of family members and friends of people who have been killed or seriously injured by careless or dangerous driving are taken into account in (a) the justice system and (b) sentencing policy for those convicted of careless and dangerous driving.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 14 December 2016
The investigation and prosecution of crime are operational matters for Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service respectively. Sentencing is a matter for the court.
In considering the public interest, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service advise that they take a number of factors into account, including the interests of the victim, the accused and the wider community. They advise this can involve competing interests and will vary with every case.
Victims (or relatives of victims if the victim is deceased) can make victim statements in certain cases involving serious crime and this includes careless driving or dangerous driving. In determining the sentence to impose on an offender, the court must have regard those parts of the statement it considers to be relevant to the offence.