A WOMAN whose son was killed by a 'careless' driver is demanding a change in the law which would see deaths by careless driving being met with the same punishment as deaths by dangerous driving.

Following a new bill put down by former Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce maximum life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill, East Lancs' Paula Johnson wants careless driving to be included after her son’s killer was sentenced to three years in prison.

Mrs Johnson, 54, from Bacup, said: “I don’t think there is a difference if you kill somebody by careless driving and kill somebody by dangerous driving.

“Theresa May didn’t mention anything about careless yesterday - it only related to dangerous - but there’s no difference.

“It all just needs to be death by dangerous because death by careless is just nonsense.”

Mrs May’s address to the House of Commons this week was seen as a major step towards introducing ‘Violet’s Law’ – named after a four-year-old girl who was tragically killed by a dangerous driver in St Helens in 2017 – which guarantees tougher sentencing.

The four-year-old died after dangerous driver Aidan McAteer's car mounted the pavement and struck her and her grandmother.

McAteer, 23, tried to escape justice by fleeing to Amsterdam but was later caught. He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to nine years and four months in prison.

The father of the Violet-Grace, Glenn Youens, said he welcomed MPs backing the first stage of the new law yesterday.

Mrs May highlighted the case and spoke about the families of victims she believes were wronged by lenient sentencing on dangerous driving - but Mrs Johnson wants cases of careless driving to be included in the new guidelines.

In June 2019, Mrs Johnson’s 24-year-old son Kristian was hit by a car on Market Street in Bacup and the driver – 20-year-old Emily Rogers – was sentenced last month to three years in prison for causing death by careless driving.

Mrs Johnson labelled the short sentence handed to Rogers an “insult” to her family.

Current laws around careless and dangerous driving are similar, with the only difference being the extent of the danger the driver has caused.

Careless driving is seen as tailgating, overtaking or running a red light, while dangerous driving is defined as racing, driving while being unfit to do so or being under the influence of drink or drugs - which Rogers was.

“I have no life left," Mrs Johnson added.

"My husband passed away in 2009 and Kristian was our only child.

“He’ll never get married, he’ll never have children and I’ll never have grandchildren.

“My life is now over, there’s nothing left for me and nothing to look forward to and this has absolutely destroyed my family."

In recent years questions have been raised over the level of sentencing for drivers who kill people under the influence of drink or drugs.

A Ministry of Justice consultation, published in October 2017, found the majority of almost 9,000 respondents agreed the penalty for causing death by careless driving under the influence should reflect the penalty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mrs Johnson plans to launch a parliamentary petition calling for ‘Kristian Johnson’s Law’ which will make the changes a reality.

She said she has been in contact with Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry, who has been supportive and is pushing to make changes to lenient sentencing for both dangerous and careless drivers.