London, 31 Jan 2003.
For immediate release.

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Courts Too Soft On Potentially Lethal 'Joyriders' Claims ABD
The ABD today welcomes the sentencing of Ian Carr to 9 years imprisonment but calls for all joy-riding offences to be taken more seriously, with more effort put into apprehension and tougher sentences on conviction.
 
It seems that almost every day there are reports of deaths caused by drivers of stolen vehicles. Courts however still hand out paltry sentences to those who steal cars and drive them unlicenced and uninsured, usually with no regard to the safety of others. Until they actually kill somebody they are able to get away without fear of a serious penalty. This is precisely what has been allowed to occur in the case of Ian Carr who had a string of previous convictions before he stole a car and killed a six year old girl. The Association of British Drivers calls for these drivers to be apprehended before they kill.
 
The ABD has in the past attempted to find out just how many people are killed or seriously injured by such drivers. Strangely no statistics seem to be available. It is fairly certain however that most of the accidents these drivers cause are recorded as 'speed related' and are simply used as an excuse for more revenue cameras that by design cannot catch such offenders, whilst ignoring the real problem.
 
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"The courts must take vehicle theft seriously, this offence is not like stealing a bag of sweets from a shop, it has more in common with randomly firing a firearm in public and hoping nobody gets hurt. It's about time proper statistics were collated for the number of deaths and injuries caused by such drivers."
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
"It seems that whenever television companies produce programmes on speeding they report children who have been killed by 'speeding drivers' then casually mention that the car was also stolen as though it's an insignificant factor. The government appears to take a similar view, relying upon their beloved but ineffective cameras and reduced speed limits to solve a problem which they obviously cannot. Only by bringing back traffic officers will these menaces be apprehended. Only when the courts hand out appropriate sentences will they be stopped."

 
Notes for Editors