MIRI: Effective October 23, errant drivers in the country will face heavier penalties under the Road Transport (Amendment) Act 2020.
The Transport Ministry received the appointment of date of coming into operation of the instrument from the Attorney-General’s Chambers on October 20.
On October 22, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, as the minister, had signed the gazette.
The ministry has been in the process of gazetting the amendment after it was passed by the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara on August 26 and September 22 respectively.
The amendments affected Section 41 of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) concerning the offence of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving, namely, imprisonment for five to 10 years with a fine of RM20,000 to RM50,000.
Section 44 of the same Act concerns the offence of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving, causing injury and those that result in death.
Those causing death, face jail terms of between 10 and 15 years and fines of between RM50,000 and RM100,000. The first-time offenders will be disqualified from obtaining driving licence for 10 years.
For subsequent offences, the amendments also provide for a jail term of 15 to 20 years, a fine not less than RM100,000 and not more than RM150,000 as well as revocation of driving licence for 20 years.
The public are largely in favour of the amendment and the following are samples of those who volunteered to comment on the matter.
SOFINA TAN, Food stall proprietor
The amendment is very much welcomed, especially as it concerns offences resulting in death. I suggest that the guilty party be made to pay compensation to the surviving family of the deceased; make it a permanent record and revoke the driving licence of the guilty for several years.
AARON ALAN, Tertiary student
The severity imposed by the Act’s amendment would force the public to become more aware of the law. I believe that tightening the road traffic law is absolutely necessary for the safety of all road users.
ALING LIONG, Private sector worker
I hope that the amendment would be applied equally regardless of social status. I hope it could help reduce the number of fatalities, injuries and rate of accidents in the country.
ANNIE TIONG, Shop proprietor
It’s a good move to reduce incidences of fatal road accidents. I applaud it because it specifically targets those who drive while being drunk. At the very least, it shows that the government is serious in tackling drink driving.
LIZA IBRAHIM, Civil servant
Splendid move, I say. Heavier penalties can help reduce the number of drink driving accidents that cause death. Don’t be lenient on offenders. Instead, consider the losses incurred by the families of the victims.
WIYVY IBRAHIM, Private company worker
The new rules and regulations should help drivers to be more disciplined on the road. I say thumbs-up to the government for having amended the law.