Chiz proposed senate bill no. 2095 to increase penalties of reckless drivers

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, January 8, 2011-Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero made a proposal under Senate bill Number 2095 which increases the current criminal liability of negligent drivers under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code wherein a maximum of twenty years (20) of imprisonment will be exacted against reckless drivers of public transportations who will be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in road accidents.


Under the existing laws, the penalties provided under Article 365 may no longer work with the way public transports, especially buses, have lightly treated their obligation wherein Escudero proposes a higher penalty for the offender from the existing penalty of arresto mayor to prison correcional in its medium period, or from one (1) month to four (4) years and two (2) months.


Escudero proposed to penalize criminal negligence by common carriers with imprisonment ranging from four (4) months one (1) day to six (6) months to twelve (12) years, in case of injury and depending on the extent, adding that in case of death, the penalty should range from twelve (12) years to twenty (20) years of imprisonment.


Chiz said that the recent road tragedies showed how drivers have become irresponsible and reckless in the conduct of their duties and seemed to disregard the statutory policy to bring their passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using utmost diligence and caution.


To address recklessness imprudence and drunkenness which have been one of the leading causes of deaths among Filipinos, the senator said that the bill seeks to provide a preventive policy for drivers and operators.


According to ASEAN Region study at least 75, 000 people were killed and 5 million injured yearly due to traffic accidents. As a consequence, the Region loses more than US $15 billion yearly with most countries losing more than 2% of their GDPs.


Under the top 10 causes of death in the Philippines of the Department of Health (DOH), road accidents have become the fourth leading cause of death in the country. Heart diseases are the leading and most common followed by vascular diseases and third is cancer. (Jason de Asis)