Bigger penalty for reckless driving eyed

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With hit-and-run cases becoming a common occurrence, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has urged lawmakers to revisit all laws on reckless imprudence cases.

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FAST AND FURIOUS Stiffer penalties have been proposed for reckless drivers who have no road courtesy and an almost intentional disregard for traffic regulations. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

FAST AND FURIOUS Stiffer penalties have been proposed for reckless drivers who have no road courtesy and an almost intentional disregard for traffic regulations. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

LTFRB board member Ariel Inton said that there is a need to increase the penalty for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide especially when aggravated by a hit-and-run. He pointed out the possibility of raising the penalty of imprisonment and amount of bail for the provisional liberty of the erring driver.

Evidence of such may be proven by incidents reported by media and netizens.

Aside from increasing the penalty, Inton suggested that authorities should impose a three-strike rule, meaning, once a driver has been charged for reckless imprudence resulting in death for the third time, the driver should not be allowed to post bail.

“Wala nang takot sa batas o sa mga nagpapatupad nito ang mga reckless drivers. [They have no fear of the law.] The commission of reckless imprudence cases resulting to homicide seems to be committed with impunity, it is almost intentional because of the utter disregard of traffic regulations and absence of road courtesy of reckless drivers,” he added.

With regard to prosecuting cases, he said that the courts should not dismiss the complaint just because the private complainant has lost interest in the case.

“Let us remember that a criminal offense is an offense not just against the private complainant but also against the state. Thus, prosecuting criminal cases should be resolved accordingly based on other evidence and not only on the statement of the private complainant,” Inton said.

“This is one reason why drivers do not feel threatened by the filing of reckless imprudence cases. Katwiran nila naayos naman kapag nabayaran na ang complainant, [They justify that once payment is made, the case is settled anyway,]” Inton lamented.

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