Wee hopes Senate will support amendments to Road Transport Act

a person riding a motorcycle down a street: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong today said that he hopes the Road Transport Act (Amendment) Bill 2020, specifically, the amendments to Sections 41 to Section 45 to ensure stern action is taken against driving offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or reckless driving, including 'merempit', will be passed during the current Dewan Negara sitting. NSTP/File (C) Provided by New Straits Times Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong today said that he hopes the Road Transport Act (Amendment) Bill 2020, specifically, the amendments to Sections 41 to Section 45 to ensure stern action is taken against driving offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or reckless driving, including 'merempit', will be passed during the current Dewan Negara sitting.

NSTP/File

KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry hopes the Road Transport Act (Amendment) Bill 2020 which provides for stiffer penalties for traffic offences, including drink driving, will be passed during the current Dewan Negara sitting. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the bill was read for the first time in Dewan Rakyat on July 27 and subsequently tabled, debated and passed on Aug 26. "This bill is now scheduled to be tabled and debated in this honourable Dewan Negara during this parliamentary session in mid September.

"The ministry hopes this bill that will be tabled will obtain the full support and be passed by all the Yang Berhormat," said Wee today. Wee said this when answering an oral question by Senator Raj Munni Sabu who had asked if the government was ready to continue the initiative to amend the law relating to drunk drivers as approved by the cabinet at the end of 2019. Wee said one of the ministry's primary strategies was to prevent and deter people from driving while intoxicated.

That had warranted the amendment to the Act which will see increased punishments for driving offences by not complying with road traffic rules, including drink driving. "Specifically, the amendments to Sections 41 to Section 45 is a commitment of the government to ensure stern action is taken against driving offences under such as driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or reckless driving, including 'merempit'." Answering a supplementary question by Raj Munni, Wee said while the death rate due to drink driving was relatively low at 47 within a span of five years as compared to annual road fatal accident statistics of between 6,900 to 7,000, the impact on society was huge.

He said several cases had occurred during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and a three-week survey was conducted involving over 300,000 respondents. "Some 94 per cent of them said that the time has come for the punishments and fines to be raised, including the suspension of driving licenses. Based on this survey, we want to translate it to action and that was why we proposed the amendments in Dewan Rakyat and now in Dewan Negara," he said.

He said the ministry's holistic efforts to combat drink driving does not stop at merely imposing higher penalties but also focused on enforcement and education. Separately, while debating the motion of thanks for the royal address by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Senator Datuk Husain Awang said the families of victims of drink driving should not be neglected. "The time has come for us to give our attention and consider compensation payments to families that have lost their loved ones who were breadwinners.

This is in line with the concept of justice in Islam," said Husain.

(C) New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

You may also like...