The previously-mooted amendment to the Road Transport Act 1987 has been passed in the Dewan Negara (Senate) this week, with harsher penalties in place to deter drunk and reckless driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The bill, tabled by Deputy Transport Minister Hasbi Habibollah, has been approved with majority support from the 16 Senate members from both the government and opposition present at the sitting, reports Bernama.
Hasbi said that the objective of the amendment was to make the law a deterrent measure that prevents a person from breaking the rules. “Hopefully, this amendment will have a positive impact on road safety the safety of all road users,” he said.
The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020, as it is called, will contain 15 main clauses. Among them is the amendment to Section 41 of the act involving the offence of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving. The maximum fine for the offence has been increased from RM5,000-RM20,000 to RM20,000-RM50,000, while the maximum jail time has also increased from 2-10 years to 5-10 years.
Section 44 of the Road Transport Act has also been modified and divided into two categories – cases causing injury and those resulting in death. Those convicted for reckless driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol to the extent of causing death, will be jailed between 10 and 15 years, and fined between RM50,000 and RM100,000, with the driving license being disqualified for 10 years for first time offenders.
Subsequent offences will see a jail term of 15 to 20 years, and a maximum fine of up to RM150,000, while their driving license will be revoked for a period of 20 years. Previously, the offence act not include a clause for repeat offenders, with a maximum jail time and fine of 10 years and RM20,000.
As for drunk driving offences causing injuries without death, first-time convicts will face a jail term of seven to 10 years, and slapped with a fine of RM30,000-RM50,000, while repeat offenders will see penalties increased to 10-15 years jail time, and a fine between RM50,000 and RM100,000.
Additionally, the bill also reduced the permissible alcohol content limit to 22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 ml of breath; 50 milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100 ml of blood and 67 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine, in line with the World Health Organisation standards used in many countries throughout the world. These levels were previously 35 microgrammes, 80 mg, and 107 mg.
All of us at AutoBuzz.my would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that it is never a good idea to drink and drive, no matter how little you think you’ve drank – not only for our own safety, but also the safety of all other road users. Call a Grab, or many of its alternatives when you consume any alcohol.
In separate news, the Royal Malaysian Police has taken to its social media channels to remind all Malaysians that cycling on highways is strictly prohibited. Those caught doing so will be in violation of the Section 79(2) of the Road Transport Act 1987, and could be fined between RM300 and RM2,000.