Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, wants the Road Transport Act to be amended to permanently ban drivers responsible for causing deaths. This means that they’ll not be allowed to drive EVER AGAIN.
During a press conference in Putrajaya today (8 Oct), he said that under Section 41 of the Road Transport Act, drivers who cause death by reckless driving will have their licence suspended for three years. “After the three years, these drivers are allowed to drive again. I feel that this is not strict enough. If you cause death of others on the road, you should be banned from driving for life,” he was quoted saying.
FYI, Section 41 of the Road Transport Act states that those convicted of causing death by reckless driving can face between two to 10 years imprisonment, fined between RM5,000 and RM20,000, and disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving license for at least three years.
Loke added that the ministry is currently looking into amending the act and is gathering feedback from several relevant agencies such as the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros). He said, “As this would involve amending the Act in Parliament, the process will take some time.”
Loke’s statement comes after the news of a fatal accident that happened on Saturday (6 Oct) near the Menora tunnel in Perak on the North-South Expressway. The accident involved a trailer, which lost control and collided into several vehicles including a Kia Forte. The Kia Forte burst into flames, killing a family of five.
Loke might be on to something considering Bloomberg reported that Malaysia ranked third in the world for riskiest roads after Thailand and South Africa, last year.
According to the data, Malaysia registered a death rate of 23 per 100,000 people. When applying this statistic against our country’s population of 30 million, about 7,000 to 8,000 people die on our roads, annually.
These numbers were consistent with data collected by Miros, which showed that a total of 7,152 people died in road accidents in Malaysia in 2016 alone. Miros’ research attributed our road accidents to reckless driving and drivers ignoring traffic rules.
Do you think Loke’s proposal is a bit extreme or do you support his stance?