A GOVERNMENT justice minister said he was unable to "give a date" for when sentencing powers for dangerous drivers who kill will be introduced, after a parliamentary debate heard powerful calls for Violet's Law.

The failure to deliver a clear timetable led the parents of Violet-Grace Youens to say that the answer was simply "not good enough".

They have vowed to join forces with other bereaved parents to step up their campaign.

On Monday the debate was held in Westminster Hall following the petition, which has, so far, saw more than 165,000 people call for an increase from the current 14 maximum sentence limit to life in prison.

Violet's brave parents Becky and Glenn joined other bereaved families to listen to the debate, which saw MPs discuss a series of heartbreaking stories about victims whose lives were taken by reckless drivers.

Afterwards they said: "He didn't give us a timescale but we will keep pushing until we get the result we want because this needs to stop."

Speaking at the end of the debate, Robert Buckland, The Minister of State at Ministry of Justice, said: "I cannot give a date (for the law changes being introduced).

"That is a matter of bitter regret to me, but today’s debate will be used as an important platform to indicate the degree of concern, impatience and anger that people now feel about the delay.

St Helens Star:

Glenn and Becky, with other families who have lost loved ones to dangerous driving, outside the Houses of Parliament

Pictured: John Sharpe, Jean Sharpe, Nicola Coleman, Glenn Youens, Becky Youens, Charlotte French, Rebecca Pattison and Michelle Heeney)

"It certainly reinforces me in my determination to get the matter sorted out.

"It is hard to see how the criminal justice system can ever adequately compensate for the loss and grief felt by families in these dreadful circumstances.

"Since 2012, however, we have seen a greater proportion of drivers who have caused fatalities through careless or dangerous driving being sentenced to immediate custody; it increased from 53 per cent in 2012 to 60 per cent last year. We have also seen an increase in the average length of custodial sentence for those offences.

"Clearly, the courts are in some measure reflecting societal attitudes and the change in attitude that we have seen toward those serious driving offences.

"That is reflected by the number of people who signed the petition that prompted today’s important debate and the fact that, as we have heard, the consultation that took place was one of the most significant undertaken in recent years, because the number of responses was considerable.

St Helens Star:

Violet-Grace Youens

"I bitterly regret that I am not able to give hon. members that all-important timescale, but the force of the speeches today leaves me and the Government in no doubt about the high priority placed on this much-needed reform—in fact, I would say it is the highest priority.

"The force of the argument put forward reinforces my sincere wish and drive to bring forward this reform at the earliest possible opportunity. Let us work together to do that."

Speaking to the Star after the debate, Glenn Youens, Violet's dad, said: "We didn't quite know what to expect with the debate but the answers we got were not good enough and we still haven't been given a timescale.

"When we met with Rory Stewart in May he gave us a timescale of one to three years.

"There are so many things that we have learned should have and could have happened and can and can't happen.

"So now we need to sit down and work out where the next step is, because Becky and I have both said, and Marie is a great supporter on this, that we are not going to stop until these changes are made.

"There is cross party support and MPs told their own stories which are just as horrifying as what we went through.

Some families didn't even get a custodial sentence (for the person involved in their loved one's deaths) and I think we feel like today has been a day where we need to know what to do next.

"What everyone is in agreement about about is the sentencing guidelines and the CPS need to change and we are going to regroup and continue with our support from our MPs."

St Helens Star:

Glenn and Becky Youens outside the Houses of Parliament following the debate

Becky, Violet's mum, added: "Robert Buckland did say that the law was going to change, but he didn't give us a timescale but we will keep pushing until we get the result we want because this needs to stop.

"People are suffering, losing a loved one, we lost our beautiful daughter, we will never get her back and its happening to other families that we met today as well who like us are getting insulted by the current justice system in place, it is outdated and wrong and it needs to change.

"The scales are outweighed at the moment and we are at the bottom of the scales as victims."

The family is urging the community, which has supported them from the beginning of the tragedy, to continue to sign the petition.

Despite the fact that the debate has taken place, the petition is still open until August 15.

The more signatures the debate has strengthens their argument for a law change.

The Youens family are aiming to reach 200,000 signatures before the Ride 4 Violet-Grace event on Sunday, July 21.

To sign the petition click here.