Lawmakers want to make Road Rage a punishable crime
Road rage incidents have been a hot topic in the news as videos of several incidents went viral on social media. Perhaps the most viral was the altercation between a former cop who pulled a gun against an unarmed cyclist after a traffic mishap along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. This prompted lawmakers to propose a bill that will make road rage incidents a crime punishable by up to PHP 500,000.00, including imprisonment.
Representatives Erwin Tulfo, Edvic Yap, Jocelyn Tulfo, Eric Yap, and Ralph Tulfo co-authored House Bill (HB) 8991. If it becomes a law, it will be titled the Anti-Road Rage Act.
Under the proposed law, road rage is defined as an “aggressive, hostile or violent behavior in traffic or on the road by a motorist. Road rage, as defined by HB 8991, also includes wild gesturing, cursing, verbal insults, any kind of physical attack or attempt, reckless driving, any kind of threat or intimidation, any use of force against another person, and other analogous circumstances, including all other acts that may fall under the Revised Penal Code and other Special Penal Laws.
If HB 8991 becomes a law, the penalties to be imposed on hot-headed drivers are quite heavy. In Section 4, it says that any person who engages in road rage will be meted with up to 1 year imprisonment and PHP 100,000.00, if there’s no injury or death involved.
In cases resulting in physical injury regardless of the degree, a fine of up to PHP 250,000.00 and 4 years imprisonment may be imposed. In the worst case scenario which resulted in the death of a party, up to PHP 500,000.00 fine will be imposed including up to 12 years imprisonment. Additional sanctions will be imposed if the offending party is a government official or employee.
HB 8991 also stipulates that the driver’s license of a person who engages in road rage will be revoked and will not be eligible for renewal for the next 5 years.
Like in the case of the ex-cop and cyclist, the latter was reportedly unwilling to pursue the filing of charges against the ex-cop and has chosen to move on with a quiet life. In such event, the Anti-Road Rage Act authorizes the Republic of the Philippines, through the appropriate legal and law enforcement agency, to prosecute and continue with the filing of criminal cases against the offending party on behalf of the victim(s).
Always stay cool when driving out there. Follow traffic rules and exercise maximum patience.