Give half the fines collected to road accident victims

LETTER | On Feb 9, 39-year-old factory worker Khairizul Mohamad Noor and his wife were riding a motorcycle at KM140.2 of the North-South Expressway heading north near the Bukit Mertajam exit to Perai in Penang. They did not reach their home in Kampung Bagan Jermal, Butterworth, where their five children were waiting as a Perodua Alza driven by a drunk driver crashed into them. Khairizul died on the spot while his wife was rushed to the Seberang Jaya Hospital in a coma state.

Last Saturday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also the MP for Bagan, presented the five children with a donation of RM5,000. He said state government agencies and the Bagan parliamentary constituency office will continue to provide assistance to the family. He also disclosed that the government is studying to amend the penalty for motorists found guilty for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as for dangerous driving, with a fine of up to RM100,000 for causing death.

Under Section 41 of the Road Transport Act, those found guilty of reckless driving and causing death can be jailed up to 10 years, fined a maximum of RM20,000 and be banned from driving for at least three years. Lest we forget, those injured or killed by drunk drivers will not get any compensation from insurance for third-party or passenger liability claims, as the cover is repudiated when vehicles are driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol as stated in all motor insurance policies. Hence, it would be better to raise the maximum fine substantially and let the court decide on the amount based on the income and asset of the driver found to have caused death or severe injuries on the road.

And half of the fine collected ought to be given to the victim or the next-of-kin of the victim as compensation.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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