Heavier punishments for reckless driving, and driving while intoxicated, will come into effect from Friday (Oct 23).

According to the New Straits Times, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said this after the ministry received the Appointment of Date of Coming Into Operation of the Road Transport (Amendment) Act 2020 instrument from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"This is to ensure that our roads will be safer for all. Since I was sworn in (as the Transport Minister), road safety has been a central priority in terms of improving policy and enforcement practices under the purview of the Transport Ministry, particularly in amending the Road Transport Act 1987," Wee was quoted by the daily.

The amendments of Sections 41 and 45 of the act pertain to reckless driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, respectively.

The amended Section 41 will see reckless drivers who cause death, jailed between five and 10 years, fined between RM20,000 and RM50,000 and get disqualified from holding a driving licence for five years or more, for their first offence.

Repeat offenders can be thrown behind bars between 10 and 15 years, fined between RM50,000 and RM100,000, and face licence disqualification for 10 years.

The current punishments for reckless drivers are maximum five years' jail, RM5,000 to RM15,000 fine, and repeat offenders are jailed a maximum of 10 years, and fined between RM10,000 and RM20,000.

The amended Section 45, meanwhile, will impose of a fine of between RM1,000 and RM5,000, or jail for up two years, a first time offender who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The offender can also face licence disqualification for two years or more.

Repeat offenders will be be fined between RM5,000 and RM10,000, or jailed for not more than five years, or face licence disqualification for five years or more.

Drivers who operate a vehicle with alcohol content above the prescribed limit can also be jailed for a maximum of two years, fined between RM10,000 and RM30,000, and face licence disqualification of two years or more, for the first year, while subsequent offences can land an offender to jail for up to five years, and fined up to RM50,000, and slapped with licence disqualification of five years of more.

Source: New Straits Times
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